The Growing Popularity of Backlit Movie Posters

Erica Gabriel

Publication date: 12/07/2021

Do you dream of a finely tuned business operation that practically runs on autopilot? Have you considered implementing R&D credit software tools but you’re worried that the software might not current …

If you’ve been to the movies lately, you’ll likely notice that movie posters look slightly different. Instead of simple pieces of paper, movie posters are now glowing brightly in eye-catching displays of colorful light.

Backlit movie posters are the latest trend and can be an effective marketing tool for your business outside the theater. But before we get into why you should consider using backlit graphics to elevate your marketing strategy, you need to know what backlit graphics are.

Let’s talk about what backlit pictures are, your options when creating your backlit graphics, and why you should consider getting backlit lights.

What Are Backlit Movie Posters?

Backlit movie posters are the glowing prints you see at the movie theater. These posters are printed on backlit film material and showcased in a framed lightbox. The backlit film material is semi-transparent and thin, allowing light from the lightbox to spread evenly across the poster.

There’s no concrete answer to the question of who created the first backlight poster, but the first backlit keyboard was patented by Howell Bryan. The technology has since evolved to what you see today- stunning backlit movie posters and signs everywhere.

The Different Types of Backlit Graphics

There are several types of materials that backlit movie posters can be made from. That means you have many options when you go backlit sign printing, and you can choose the most convenient for you and your business.

Backlit Film Materials

It’s important to consider the material you want your backlit picture printed on. Here are your options.

Printable Film

If you intend to use your backlit pictures in a mall, theater, or any other outdoor location that calls for a durable material, printable film could be the right option. Printable film is the material that you’ll mostly see used for backlit movie posters. Printable film uses materials like styrene or polypropylene, which are thin, translucent plastic. If you choose to work with printable film, try UV-curling, flatbed printing, or screen printing.

Backlit Paper

A 7-point translucent bristol that receives a special treatment to prevent it from warping when exposed to moisture. Backlit paper is thin and cheap, so it’s a great option if you’re trying to create temporary signs.

Adhesive-Backed Translucent Vinyl 

If you’re looking for a permanent backlight solution, then adhesive-backed translucent vinyl could be the right option. Adhesive-backed translucent vinyl is made from acrylic or lexan and is perfect for prolonged outdoor use.

Transmissive Photographic Media

Transmissive photographic media is a type of polyester material that’s perfect for high-end locations. The images printed on transgressive photographic media are high quality and normally printed with colorful lasers. However, there’s a downside. You can’t expose backlight pictures to direct sunlight because it can cause the poster to fade.

You might find transmissive photographic media under the name translites or duratrans. 

Inkjet Backlit Film

Inkjet Backlit film uses polyester film with an ink-receptive layer to create high-quality images that can survive sunlight exposure.

Vinyl Or Fabric Backlit Film

Vinyl or fabric backlit film uses solvent or latex ink on large-format inkjet printers to create massive backlit graphics. Vinyl and fabric backlit frames often have tensioning mechanisms built to keep backlit completely flat without any wrinkles. These types of backlit pictures are mostly used in retail because they’re easy to transport.

Light Box Options

We’ve gone over the different backlit film materials you can use for your movie posters, so let’s talk lighting. Here are the most popular backlit lightbox options for Backlit sign printing.

LED Light Box

If you’re looking for a bright and energy-efficient light box, then an LED light box may be the right option. However, LED light boxes can be a hassle because they use point sources. If the energy isn’t properly diffused, you’ll have brighter areas. You might need to invest in extra diffusers to help the light travel properly, or you might need to get a deeper box.

There may also be dark spots in certain areas if any of the LEDs “blow out.”

Fluorescent Light Boxes

True to their name, fluorescent light boxes use fluorescence light tubes as their light source. They feature excellent dispersion, which means that the illumination is dispersed uniformly throughout the screen and won’t create any shadows or hotspots. They are often seen in open areas such as storefronts, waiting ‌areas for public transportation, and transit shelters. These types of light boxes are normally deep.

The Benefits Of Using Backlit Graphics

Here are some of the ways that your business can benefit from you using backlit graphics.

Backlit Lights Graphics Are Highly Visible

One of the major benefits of using backlit graphics is their high visibility. That’s why backlit movie posters are so effective. They grab the attention and interest of customers, even if they aren’t standing near it. 

That means you can take advantage of backlit sign printing for your storefront or use it inside your store to highlight specific products. You can also use them to help with in-store navigation.


Backlit graphics can fit any design or color scheme that you want. The materials used to construct them are lightweight and easy to transport, so you can move around easily if needed. You can also change them at any time with just a few steps and easily modify them to suit any situation.


Since backlit signs generally use recyclable materials such as aluminum, they do not harm our environment like plastic signs do when they break down over time. They also don’t use paper, so no trees are harmed by creating them. You can make your backlit lightbox more eco-friendly by using LED lights since they’re energy efficient.


Backlit graphics are a cost-effective option because they are durable and flexible. While they might be expensive up front, they’ll save you money in the long run.

If you’re wondering where you can find high-quality backlit posters, there’s no need to look further than PosterPrintShop. We print high-quality backlit movie posters – among other things. Learn more about our backlit sign printing and other services today.

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