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An Exhaustive, 600-Word Explanation of the New Breaking Dawn Teaser Poster

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | May 25, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | May 25, 2011 |

A lot of sites are debuting the first teaser poster for Breaking Dawn: Part I this week, but none of them have really explored all the nuanced facets of the poster. On first blush, sure: There doesn’t look like there’s a lot going on. But these posters are put together by true marketing professionals: The layers are hidden here. You just have to do the hard work of uncovering them. This first teaser poster gives us a lot with which to work.


Let’s start at the top. The purplish-black color is obviously significant. It suggests bruising. Punishment. Dull throbbing pain. That, of course, sums up Bella’s first sexual encounter with Edward. You can almost feel the deepness of her pain in the dark hues. Look at it too long, and you feel the sensation of a woman’s fingernails clawing at your back.

Moving down to the printed area. Let’s start with the Font. That’s actually a studio created font, but it clearly contains elements of Zephyr and Goudy Old Style, a serif typeface that has some resemblance to classic Italian typefaces, which calls to mind the Volturi, the largest and most powerful coven of vampires in the Twilight Series. They will again play prominent roles in Breaking Dawn.

The words themselves are also meaningful. “The Twilight Saga” lets us know that Breaking Dawn is but a piece of this complex cinematic puzzle. Breaking Dawn, of course, is the fourth book in the Stephenie Meyers’ series, and the title itself alludes to the oncoming sunlight; it’s classic effect on vampires; the punishing (breaking) sex; Bella’s transformation from a normal into a vampire; and, of course, the arrival (via the “breaking” open of Bella’s stomach) of the mutant-vampire-baby-freak Renesmee.

“Part 1” also lets us know that the movie will be broken into two halves (just as Bella will during delivery) and that the studio is gouging its audience for as much as it can before the series ends. It’s separated here by symbols that look like wooden stakes, which of course can be used to kill vampires. They also resemble toothpicks, which can be used to pick out human flesh from a vampire’s teeth.

Moving down, what we notice our stratus clouds, which are typically flat, hazy, and featureless, which are adjectives that have often been used to describe the Twilight series of films. The colors of the clouds are a lighter, bluish purple, and instantly call to mind P.M. Dawn, the American hip hop band formed by Prince Be the Nocturnal (vampires = nocturnal) and J.C. the Eternal (vampires = live forever) and their 1991 mega-hit, “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss.”

Pretty great, right?

Moving down to the bottom of the poster, we see trees. Actually, just the top of the trees. I think the phallic connotations here are obvious. The trees, clearly, are Evergreens, common in Washington state (hence, “The Evergreen State”). Evegreens have leaves during all seasons — they are continuously renewed or is self-renewing, representative of a vampire’s immortality, which Bella will soon inherit.

Finally, there’s the web address at the center bottom, which actually redirects you to, which is where you can buy this T-shirt so that you, too, can symbolically know what it feels like to have an infants bloody hand attempt to press its way out of your body.

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That about sums up the teaser movie poster. I’m certain there are more even more subtle clues hidden within, and — like many of you — I will spend the next several hours attempting to decipher them. If you see anything else worth mentioning (and when it comes to Twilight, everything is worth mentioning), please let us know in the comments below.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.