Diagonal: Fake Vertigo Poster?

While I’m on the topic of prop documents, this has been bothering me for months: a while back I was watching TV1, and I saw a poster in the background that looked quite a bit like Saul Bass‘s famous Vertigo one-sheet. The typography is almost identical in style. The colors too. The imagery and composition—same thing. Clearly this was an attempt to recreate the Vertigo poster without violating copyright.

When the poster showed up on a recent episode of one of my favorite shows, Louie, I took a snapshot and Googled everything I could; “Diagonal movie poster,” “Felipe Lares,” “Andrew Patrick,” etc. No results that made any sense.

Here’s the full text in case someone else is looking for the same poster:

Andrew Patrick
Felipe Lares

in Cary Leadmon’s
Timeless Adventure


Other posters in the background on Louie seem equally realistic, yet fictional, so the only conclusion that I can draw is that this is a recently-made, clever prop poster, designed specifically for TV and films where licensed property would cost too much to be worthwhile. Despite the fact that it’s almost unethical, I love that such an industry exists. It’s like the fake “sounds-like” music industry, where the melody is just slightly off from a well known hit. I hope that whoever was involved in creating it finds this and wants to tell their fascinating story. And if anybody can find one of these for sale anywhere, I’d love to start a collection of fake movie posters.

Update, 12/14/2013: As Deka pointed out in the comments, there’s been another sighting. Looks like the prop is making the rounds:

Diagonal, fake Vertigo prop poster

  1. It was 90210. My wife was watching it. I swear. “And here come the pretzels…” []

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11 Responses to “Diagonal: Fake Vertigo Poster?”

  1. Jan Middendorp September 10, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    There’s a graphic prop industry here in Germany too. On (non-commercial) national tv, product placement is punishable, so every packaging or magazine in domestic shows has to be fake. Check out specialized agency Schein Berlin (http://www.schein-berlin.de/). Some of their work was part of the 2006 book Made with FontFont, which I co-edited.

  2. Deka December 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Just saw the Diagonal poster on a commercial for an ABC Family sitcom, which lead me here. Thought you might like to know it’s still making the rounds.

  3. Josh Korwin December 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Ha! That’s great. Thanks for letting me know!

  4. Dean January 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    I just saw the Diagonal poster on Community on NBC. A google search led me here. Pretty interesting.

  5. Josh Korwin January 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Neat, I love Community. I’ll try to grab a screenshot of it once I find it. Welcome to the club of we-who-Google-imaginary-posters.

  6. Dean January 3, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Here’s a gif of it in a scene:

  7. bob January 7, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    I love the Vertigo poster by Sid Bass and so naturally I noticed the “Diagonal” poster on Community as well. So I guess I just joined the club of we-who-google-imaginary-posters too as my search brought me here. I must tell you that if any of these posters show up for sale on bidding sites, I might be bidding against you. This type of collection would really be up my alley. But if I find duplicates I’ll be sure to let you know!

  8. bob January 7, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    ooops, I meant Saul Bass. I must have had the billionaire on my mind.

  9. Andrew January 7, 2018 at 7:40 pm #

    just spotted the poster on the new iWatch commercial . 1/7/18

  10. dragon October 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm #

    I also just spotted the poster in the community episode and endless searching led me here. I was wondering, are any of the other posters in the community scene rip offs or is “diagonal” ?

  11. Ale February 28, 2023 at 5:01 pm #

    Just spotted the poster on the Consultant.

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