Eric Skillman’s 10 Favorite Criterion DVD Covers

Eric Skillman is the art director for the Criterion Collection, the beautifully-designed ongoing series of movie DVD reissues. He’s been at Criterion for 14 years, creating a remarkable body of work that includes smart, cool graphic design and numerous examples of top-notch art directed illustration. Skillman is a talented book and poster designer, and wrote a graphic novel, Liar’s Kiss. He also designed the new American Illustration 34 book, with cover illustrations by Ranee Henderson. Skillman’s DVD covers and packages are works of design art. His design acknowledges references and influences from the past, but with a very modern sensibility and sense of the subject matter. And his choice of illustrators for the cover art is diverse and surprising. Looking through the many sparkling Criterion covers and packages, I’m reminded of the great LP cover designers of past decades. Skillman deserves much credit for keeping that kind of art and design alive, and for providing so many illustrators such a great public venue for their work.

Skillman will be speaking at the AI-AP Big Talk event, Wednesday, November 4 at 3pm at the SVA Theatre in New York City, with other jurors and illustrators from American Illustration 34.

Here are 10 favorite illustrated DVD covers from the Criterion Collection, art directed by Eric Skillman. He is quick to point out that these are the “Top 10 covers that happened to pop into my head as I typed this.” To learn more about Eric Skillman, see my American Illustration Profiles interview with him here.

(Above): On the Waterfront, illustration by Sean Phillips

679_DF_box_348x490_originalZatoichi, illustration by Ron Wimberly

505_Box_348x490_originalMake Way for Tomorrow, illustration by Seth

470_box_348x490_originalWise Blood, illustration by Josh Cochran

43_box_348x490_originalLord of the Flies, illustration by Kent Williams

4_box_348x490_originalAmarcord, illustration by Caitlin Kuhwald

234_box_348x490_originalThe Tin Drum, illustration by David Plunkert

712_DVD_box_348x490_originalScanners, illustration by Connor Willumsen

728_DVD_box_348x490_originalSundays and Cybele, illustration by Jillian Tamaki

677_box_348x490_originalThe Uninvited, illustration by Sam Weber

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Art Director Profile: Eric Skillman