Josh Gilbert is currently seeking full-time employment in graphic design. If you like what you see, referrals are most welcome.



Independent Index

I believe I started doing this around 2002, not even aware there was an entire community of designers with the same idea: some retail DVD artwork just plain stinks. Don't let bad DVD covers happen to the good movies, say we. Although the untimely demise of - the "genesis" website of cover design, you could say - was a setback, the cover community has continued to grow, and as a result I've had the privilege of communicating with some very talented people.

DISCLAIMER: The artwork in this section represents unendorsed projects created solely for recreation and graphic design practice. No infringement of copyright has been intended, and no profit has been generated by the artist in their creation.

D V D   C O V E R S

John Carter of Mars (2012)
May 2012
One of my favorites from early 2012, and it saddens me to no end that it failed so miserably at the box office. Finger-pointers blame poor marketing on Disney's part, a point backed up by the lazy retail Blu-ray artwork, thus my revamp, which I based off the red tribal markings used in the early trailers. I used the title 'John Carter of Mars' because it better conveys the film's content, the film itself ends with it, it's what the director wanted, and dang it, it just sounds better.
Avatar © Disney, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Avatar [Blu-ray] (2010)
October 2010
This was the ultimate purpose of my Struzan-lite Avatar painting (see POSTERS). By popular demand I also produced a cover for the movie-only edition first, while this cover was designed specifically for the Extended Collector's Edition released months later. This went on to win Cover of the Year at by what can only be described as a landslide community vote.
Avatar © James Cameron, 20th Century Fox
The Secret of Kells (2009)
October 2010
Outside of any given Pixar effort, I can't recall the last time I was this enamored by an animated film. I've described it to others as Miyazaki by way of Genndy Tartakovsky (of Samurai Jack/Clone Wars fame). The film is a feast for the eyes, and making a custom cover for it is a task I could best describe as daunting. Thankfully, I think the result does the movie some justice.
The Secret of Kells ©, NewVideo, Flatiron Film Company, Cartoon Saloon
V For Vendetta (2005)
May 2010
Never before can I remember being as delighted to have the film's hero talk me to death. Vendetta may not have been subtle as political commentary, but it's thrilling and engaging nonetheless. And with Hugo Weaving's voice, you almost expect that mask to move. Designed this with 'propoganda' artwork in mind, in the vein of the film's similarly-themed promotional campaign.
V For Vendetta © Warner Bros. Pictures, DC/Vertigo, Alan Moore
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
December 2009
Tarantino's WWII frenzy was one of my favorites of 2009, and felt its home video release deserved something a bit more stylish than a Nazi helmet hanging from a baseball bat. The trailers featured a 'paint-splatter' motif, and carried that into this design.
Inglourious Basterds © Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company, A Band Apart
Taken (2009)
April 2009
This was worth the more than one-year wait it took to get this movie stateside. They should have just called it 'Liam Neeson Will Mess You Up', 'cause that about sums up the plot the movie. I knew from trailer one I'd be doing a cover for this.
Taken © 20th Century Fox, EuropaCorp/M6/Grive Productions
Firefly: The Complete Browncoat Saga
December 2008
How does a prematurely cancelled TV show plus its underperforming theatrical epilogue make one of the better sci-fi sagas of the generation? Hell if I know. Went for the the Struzan-style collage again for the front, and I think I hit the mark a lot closer here than I did with Indiana Jones.
Firefly, Serenity © Joss Whedon
Speed Racer (2008)
September 2008
People just didn't get this one, and while I sort of understand why, it still didn't deserve to tank as badly as it did. I wanted to evoke the exact feel of the movie: big, colorful, hallucinatory.
Speed Racer © Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow, Silver Pictures, Tatsuo Yoshida
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
September 2008
Seeing as the movie took some cues from the old Bill Bixby series, I took some myself; the front is inspired by that image from the TV series intro that blends Bixby's face with Lou Ferrigno's. On a related note: HULK SMASH PUNY FILM CRITICS!!!
The Incredible Hulk © Universal Pictures, Marvel
Indiana Jones and the Motion Picture Anthology
June 2008
I loved Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Sue me. Anyway, I wanted a big, epic, Drew Struzan-esque collage of elements from all four Indy movies, which sounds ambitious except for the fact that Struzan himself could do a lot better than a cave...with a box of scraps (oh wait, I'm mixing my heroes, aren't I?).
Indiana Jones © Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm Ltd.
Resident Evil (2002)
May 2008
Part one of a three-part matching set. Mixing the technological elements of the franchise with a sterile, medical look of sorts. I didn't like Resident Evil: Apocalypse all that much, but I had to get it to complete the set. 'Cause, y'know...that just makes sense.
Resident Evil © Screen Gems, Constantin Film, Davis Films, Impact Pictures, Capcom
Cloverfield (2008)
April 2008
One of 2008's many pleasant cinematic surprises; why they released it in January (aka Dump Month) is beyond me. With the secrecy surrounding the film all the way up to its release, what else besides 'Government Coverup' would suit the artwork? I thought the note from 'J.J.' was a cool touch.
Cloverfield © Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot
Stardust (2007)
January 2008
I'm ashamed to admit I did not see this in theaters. Of course that applies to plenty of movies I own and love, but few were as instant a delight as this one. I had bigger plans for the front, but I reached a certain point and said, 'Y'know what? This works.'
Stardust © Paramount Pictures, MARV Films, Neil Gaiman
Children of Men (2006)
December 2007
I blind-bought this and was totally blown away by its epic scope yet very personal feel. The overall design is inspired by the 'graffiti litter' that overwhelms the urban settings, and I'd be lying if that spraypainted headshot of Clive Owen wasn't inspired a little by ol' Che Guevara.
Children of Men © Universal Pictures, Strike Entertainment
The Crow (1994)
November 2007
Tried to go for something different than the previous DVD covers, while staying true to the film's overall look. This one as a challenge, as there was very little in the way of high-res resources to start with.
The Crow © Dimension Films, James O'Barr
Inside Man (2006)
November 2007
This movie had such a great, stylish poster campaign, and they botched the DVD design. Tried to emulate the poster design here, with the 'target' motif used in the film's opening credits, thanks to which I have that damn Bollywood song stuck in my head...Grrr....
Inside Man © Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment
The Fountain (2006)
November 2007
Another movie that deserved so much more than it was given. I wanted a transition of the past and future, with a view from 'inside the nebula'. Inadvertently (I swear), the front cover wound up looking remarkably like the cover of The End of Evangelion.
The Fountain © Warner Bros. Pictures, Regency Enterprises
The Fifth Element (1997)
August 2007
If I were to pick my very best DVD cover, this would probably be it. The retail artwork was so abominably cheesy I had to do something; granted the film itself if a big plate of cheese, but it's so epically, explosively, enjoyable cheesy that it deserved better advertising.
The Fifth Element © Columbia Pictures, Gaumont
The Abyss (1989)
July 2007
This one sits side by side with Terminator 2 as James Cameron's best film, in my opinion. Just be sure you're watching the Extended Cut; film purists will tell you it's the only way to go. 'Deep sea darkness' is the theme of the day here.
The Abyss © 20th Century Fox
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
July 2007
Overrated book, underrated film. Yeah, I said it, who wants some!? Some have called this my best work, and in some regards I'd have to agree. The blending of the Mona Lisa with Tom Hanks' face happened almost by accident, and I'm surprised it works as well as it does.
The Da Vinci Code © Columbia Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Dan Brown
Once Upon A Time In The West (1966)
May 2007
This one took a second viewing for me to really appreciate its length and slow pace, and it now holds a revered place on my DVD shelf. The front didn't work out quite how I'd hoped, but Henry Fonda's blue eyes make a great focal point.
Once Upon A Time In The West © Paramount Pictures
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
June 2006
Yamulkes worldwide were tossed into the air in celebration with Angelina's declaration of 'I'm Jewish.' There were actually some elements from the retail cover that inspired this, like the bullseye design and the limited color scheme.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith © 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises
Sin City (2005)
October 2005
Thus began my insane love affair with Frank Miller, and with stark black-and-white-and-red color schemes. I started this right after I'd seen the movie, just knowing they'd muck up the retail artwork somehow. I'm very proud of the front, but I get more praise for the backside.
Sin City © Dimension Films, Troublemaker Studios, Frank Miller
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (1966)
August 2005
Normally I strictly design covers that I feel an overwhelming need to replace. I actually love the retail artwork of TGTB&TU, but the image of the front was so strong I had to get it onscreen.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly © MGM Pictures

image footer