A print reproduction of Dirty Dancing, 1987, designed by Dawn Baillie.
Dawn Baillie has always been fascinated by experimentation, so when a new production possibility becomes available, she tends to take full advantage of it. In this famous poster, she added the Compspurple drop shadows behind the couple and the title because she had just learned how to make chromatecs (rub-down type).
The image of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey was chosen from unit photography—photographs taken on set during the production. Dawn Baillie reviewed contact sheets full of thousands of images and ordered those that most vividly conveyed emotion or action, as well as those in which the stars were most recognizable. She felt this was the most romantic image as well as one that hinted at a chance of possibility.
Poster production for films comes with a lot of contractual rules, many of which focus on the billing block (the big list of names and companies typically at the bottom of a poster). While Dawn Baillie felt the large and dramatic typography of the title would add action to an otherwise static composition, the production manager immediately cut off the bottom of the “g” in “dancing” because it was larger than what was permitted in relation to the billing block.
Measures 17 x 11 inches, ships rolled.