What’s With the Weird Girly Pink Font on Ryan Gosling’s Drive Posters?

For weeks I’ve seen the posters for Ryan Gosling‘s The Fast and the Furious indie ripoff Drive — and I have to ask, whose idea was it to slap on some girly font for an intense car-chase thriller? Best-case scenario, this looks like something we at Crushable would make; worst-case, it resembles a preteen’s folder with “Mrs. Ryan Gosling” scrawled on it in gel pen.

The only possible explanation is that it’s meant to be campy; EW’s PopWatch blog compares this, the first teaser poster, to the iconic poster for Heathers. But while Drive seems like it’ll turn out to be a guilty-pleasure flick with cheesy lines (“My hands are a little dirty.” “So are mine.”) and outlandish action sequences, the movie still seems to take itself very seriously.

Like I said, this was the first teaser poster. At least eight others have been released in the U.S. and other countries, and only a few posters don’t feature the hot-pink font.

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    • Roberta

      The first theatrical poster was designed by The Refinery Creative

      Back in May 2011, during the press conference at 64th Cannes Film Festival, both Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling talked about the strong influence of 80s vibe in the movie and some pink credits at the beginning of the film.

      - according to collider.com- “Refn wastes absolutely no time in letting you know that the film you are about to watch will have a unique style of its own as the film opens with a bumping synth score as a neon pink cursive title font starts rolling over immediately striking shots of Ryan Gosling cruising around a moody looking Los Angeles …


Ryan Gosling: -according to uinterview.com- “The mentality of the film really came from … we were watching Pretty in Pink, and we agreed that if there was head-smashing in it, it would be the perfect film. Lack of violence was keeping 16 Candles from being a masterpiece. If it just had… a good old fashioned head smashing …”

      - according to Pictorial Gosling Lexicographers- As a reference to the decade, the font chosen in the poster is a revisited version of Mistral – originally designed by Roger Excoffon and released in 1953- that was already popular in the classic 80s American show “Night Court”. Excoffon based the form of the typeface on his own handwriting, having the stroke an informal graphic quality similar to brush and ink. 

The lowercase letters are carefully designed to connect on a line to an extent unusual in script fonts, and descenders are long, increasing the sense of motion. The face has several specially-designed ligatures, not duplicated in digital versions. Mistral and AvantGarde were highly used in American yearbooks in the 80s.

      Julian Buckeridge -from atthecinema.net- perfectly explains the meaning of Drive’s poster.

      “The first theatrical poster for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive has arrived, with an 80s-style pink font, which is supposedly the same as the opening credit titles. Considering the soundtrack includes tracks from Kavinsky, Chromatics, Desire and College, the font works extremely well in setting the mood of the film. It is an interesting poster, as it gives dominance to its star Ryan Gosling without listing his name. There is a mythological element to the artwork, with the upward angle of the image presenting the protagonist as a larger-than-life hero. Combining with the “Some Heroes Are Real” tagline, the poster really pumps up Gosling as a grand figure”

      all the info taken from http://www.pictorialgosling.net

      • Natalie Zutter

        Wow, thank you for this! I’m a little embarrassed, because I’m good about researching my posts–strangely, I did a couple of Google searches around “pink font Drive poster” and didn’t find any of these. I appreciate you posting them here.

    • The Dead Burger

      Having fallen in love with the script, carefully tracked development, seen the film twice in screenings and read every review of the film from its celebrated Cannes debut til now, I can safely say that you have the completely wrong idea about this film. It’s not a guilty pleasure, it’s a critically acclaimed, Oscar-worthy thriller. Winding Refn won the Best Director Palme d’Or at Cannes, and it was richly deserved. The film is nothing like its trailers – it’s very slow and artsy, with sparse, dry dialogue, long stretches of silence, an 80′s synth soundtrack, and existential angst aplenty. It’s closer to a dramatic thriller than an action movie, and mentioning it in the same sentence as Fast and the Furious is ludicrous, especially calling it a rip-off of that awful, mainstream turd.

      And “outlandish” is the exact wrong way to describe what action the movie does have – aside from the opening car chase, which is more of a tense, automotive game of chess than a blood-pumping speedfest, the action consists primarily of brief, unbelievably graphic spurts of sudden violence, which are almost frightening in contrast to the ethereal, romantic, beautiful dreamstate of the rest of the movie.

      It’s got an 8.6 rating on rottentomatoes, a celebrated, slightly weird Danish director, and plenty of Oscar hype going into awards season. It’s my personal favorite movie of the year, and I’d recommend you read a few reviews so you can get a better idea of what it’s like. It’s 3/4 Oscar bait, 1/4 deconstructionist action film.

      Although I do admit the
      “My hands are a little dirty.”
      “So are mine.”
      exchange is a little corny, but that’s literally the only dialogue like that in the movie. I don’t know why they used it in the trailer. For the most part, the lines are pointedly mundane.

    • The Dead Burger

      Here’s a link to a recent review that sums the movie up perfectly:


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    • CG

      ‘The Fast and the Furious indie ripoff Drive’ – This is hands down the stupidest thing I’ve read in ages, and quite frankly you should be embarrassed. Drive has very little in common with The Fast and the Furious, beyond the fact both happen to feature crime and cars.

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    • Chris

      I bet you feel like a complete idiot for posting this now.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        It’s been bothering the whole staff for years.