One of the many reasons that The Criterion Collection is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me human civilization (this is actually a proven fact) is that not only do they rescue and / or impeccably revitalize many of cinema's most important works, but they also package those films with tremendous care. Criterion's DVD boxes can make even the most digitally-oriented among us once again fetishize physical media (and don't even get me started on their drool-inducing custom blu-ray cases), and it's no stretch to say that the unique artwork that adorns these releases are in and of themselves more satisfying than most films made these days. Criterion covers are usually conceived with an artistry and consideration rare for an industry more concerned with the floating heads of movie stars than being beautiful - most DVDs and blu-rays are packaged to be bought, Criterion's are packaged to be treasured.

But the glorious (and probably hot) folks at Criterion - modern superheroes who make the likes of teachers, doctors, and volunteer firemen look like selfish second-rate citizens - can't put their spin on all the world's most beloved films. So some restless and talented Photoshoppers who refuse to live in a world where their favorite movies are forced to wear plain faces, so they've decided to take matters into their own hands. And what started as an innocuous thread on the JoBlo and SomethingAwful Forums back in 2003 has since exploded into a full-blown cottage industry of cinephilic creative expression (now most notably on mubi.com). Recently a moderator at Criterionforum.org temporarily suspended their Fake Criterion Covers thread because so many people were joining the site just to contribute fake covers. The results are a testament to both the power of design in the modern world seriously and the thrall of Criterion's output (seriously, Criterion, I want to be on you). Check out some of my favorites after the jump!




Note: These artists are identified only by their message board handles, and some of these images have been pulled down in the months / years since I saved them onto my hard drive. If any of these designs are yours, please claim the credit you're due in the comments below, and maybe link to some of your other stuff if ya like. As for everyone else, I implore you to visit the mubi forums, leaf through the 164 pages in the Fake Criterion Covers thread, and pick your own favorites!