Tom Jung

Thomas Jung (born February 13, 1942) is an American advertising art director, graphic designer and illustrator best known for his movie poster art, and a motion picture storyboard artist.[1][2]

Tom Jung
Thomas Jung

(1942-02-13) February 13, 1942
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
EducationSchool of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Known forArt Direction, Graphic Design, Illustrator, Storyboard Artist
Notable work
Doctor Zhivago
Gone With The Wind
The Man Who Would Be King
The Omen
Star Wars
The Lord of the Rings
The Deer Hunter
The Empire Strikes Back
Raging Bull
Once Upon a Time in America
AwardsKey Art Award 1978, 1980.
The International Society of Science Fiction Award, 1978


Early life and career

Tom Jung, a Chinese American, was born, raised and educated in Boston, Massachusetts. After finishing High School he attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. During his second year he was drafted into the Army. While stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, Jung contributed to the newspaper Fort Jackson Leader as an editorial cartoonist, designing and illustrating primarily public service communications.[3]

Following his discharge, he worked as a freelance illustrator and art director with a number of well known advertising agencies in New York.

In 1958 Jung was hired full-time to redesign advertisement campaigns of foreign films to suit American audiences (theatrical redistribution) for Ben Adler Advertising Services Inc.[4] Jung created pressbooks (exhibitor’s campaign manuals)[5][6] and one sheets for distribution to independently owned movie theaters throughout the country, including La Strada[4] and And God Created Woman.

Jung's early work is typified by caricature art for movies such as Confessions of Felix Krull, The Captain from Köpenick, The Golden Age of Comedy and Murder Ahoy. His one-sheet art for the film School for Scoundrels is perhaps the best example of that early style, displaying caricatures in shades of black and gray on a white background with distinctive handlettering. The look recalls Jung's own early aspirations of becoming a Mad Magazine cartoonist in the style of such artists as Jack Davis, Mort Drucker and Jack Rickard.

Jung's early successes led eventually to his role as freelance art director in 1963 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he designed posters for roadshow or "hard-ticket"[7] movies such as Dr. Zhivago, Grand Prix, Far from the Madding Crowd, Ice Station Zebra, and The Shoes of the Fisherman. The design process at MGM involved developing multiple poster concepts, carefully rendered in pencil or charcoal with or without copy lines and credits in position. These "layouts" were then presented to and scrutinized by Ad manager Bill O'Hare and marketing vice president Dan Terrell for approval as the films Key Art. Once selected, this concept would be the one to appear in newspapers, magazines and in-house stationery, PR communications, all interior and outdoor posting material for distribution in the United States.

Upon final review by MGM chief executive officer Robert O'Brien, the concept was turned over to their advertising agency account executive, Lloyd McKean, to manage implementation. Art Director Burt Kleeger would task the agreed-upon illustrator to prepare a full color painting of the approved image as well as to design various needed parts of the campaign. The advertising agency art department would then prepare "mechanicals" to precise dimensions for the engravers and plate makers for newspaper, magazine and poster printers.

Jung selected Howard Terpning to illustrate his concept art for the 1967 re-release of Gone With The Wind.[8] Taking a cue from the original movie poster art, Jung's iconic pose is often imitated, most notably in the style A poster for The Empire Strikes Back. "I see the results of my design all over," he said. "Gone With The Wind was really notable for its schmaltziness."[8]

In 1968 Jung was engaged by Bill O'Hare, now a marketing executive at CBS television network's theatrical film division Cinema Center Films, to handle the art direction for their entire release schedule of nearly 30 films. Some of the films Jung designed and illustrated, with the help of able staffer and artist Vincent Marrone, were A Man Called Horse, Little Big Man, Prime Cut and Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen.

Later career

In 1973, Jung's work on the movie Papillon "was the first major break that pushed him into the big-bracket category". "It was obvious that Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen had unique roles in Papillon," he recalled. "Steve represented, at that time, a gut of defiance that any person would identify with … defiance against oppression and authority. The poster made with this theme merged perfectly with the mood of the film."[9] An auction profile for the original art gives a synopsis of Jung's concept: "Accomplished in acrylic on a leaf of 17 x 18 ¼ in. artist's illustration board it features the defiant, squinting profiles of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Jung commented that although he was a trained illustrator, for 20 years he had acted as art director for ad campaigns and concepts, and not practicing his painting. The present concept study was his first effort to establish a style and was approved by Marketing VP Ed Seigenfeld (Allied Artists, 1973)."[10]

During this time Jung was known to film studios as a one stop shop for advertising. He was handed a project and given full discretion to develop the concept, design and illustration including copy lines and title logos. Jung worked for Allied Artists, United Artists, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd. designing Key Art concepts and illustrating movie posters for films including The Man Who Would Be King, The Deer Hunter, Dr. Zhivago, and Apocalypse Now.

Jung often collaborated with Nelson Lyon, a former Saturday Night Live writer and the creator of the 1971 movie The Telephone Book, to develop copy lines. Jung's unique title logos for movies such as The Sand Pebbles, Super Fly, Gold and The Omen tie in key elements that distill down the essence of the films into Key Art.

As a freelance illustrator in 1977 working for the motion picture advertising boutique of Smolen, Smith and Connolly, Jung was chosen to work on Star Wars. He was given the theme of "Good Over Evil," and provided with a wealth of photos taken by unit photographers in color and black & white, as well as 2.25-inch stills on contact sheets taken from the original 35mm print of the film. Jung's work was used as the one sheet "style A" theatrical poster for the film's advertising campaign. According to Jung, the unlikely "cross" formed by Luke Skywalker's saber sword set against the ghosted background image of Darth Vader seemed to him like a good solution to the "good" versus "evil" theme.[11][12] The poster also featured a notable title logo from Jung, mimicking the film's famed opening crawl.

A stylistic progression in Jung's art is clear from his 1978 work on The Lord of the Rings. One of two concepts submitted, the one sheet depicting Gandalf and the Hobbits Frodo and Sam is rendered in a style markedly different from Jung's other works. In his own words: "There's probably a lot of posters I've done that people aren't aware of: Papillon, The Man Who Would Be King, and … for Lord of the Rings."[8] Jung's poster won first prize for Best Graphic Award in 1978 from the International Society of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, and has been called "truly the most well-remembered image" from the film.[13]

Regarding his 1980 work on The Empire Strikes Back, Jung recalled: "I used various martial arts attitudes in my working studies, trying to come up with the perfect look. I was searching for the image 'bi-coastal' (as they used to say) of Darth Vader, which could be the centerpiece for The Empire Strikes Back. I made the presentation to Sid Ganis at Lucasfilm's new offices in North Hollywood, near Universal Studios. In the large airy reception area sitting on couches, with my presentation spread on a coffee table, we attracted a small crowd of onlookers. Steven Spielberg peered in and chimed, 'I like that' and strolled away. It was the drawing of Darth Vader in profile, a powerful outstretched arm holding his saber."[11]

In 1981 Jung was contacted by Sid Ganis, vice president of marketing at Lucasfilm, to develop concept sketches for Raiders of the Lost Ark. At the same time the production company, Paramount Pictures along with advertising agency Diener/Hauser/Bates, were working with another illustrator, Richard Amsel, to also develop a marketing campaign. Jung created sixteen concept sketches for the one-sheet, one of which was approved to go to color.[14] Borrowing from his original Papillon artwork, Jung used a "brown sauce" palette and a unique concept to create the iconic character Indiana Jones for his interpretation of the movies Key Art.[14]

After many months of back and forth between competing concepts it was decided that Richard Amsel's would be used as the one-sheet for the campaign. The decision was partly based on the view that the character Indiana Jones should not be shown with a gun. In Jung's art, a gun and a whip were both prominently held by Indiana Jones. Jung's concept, though not used during the film's advertising campaign, is preserved in the Lucasfilm archives.[15]

Starting in 1997 with the Disney film Jungle 2 Jungle, Jung began working on the production side of the business as a storyboard artist.[16] His ability to draw without the use of visual aids, in a manner similar to that of a comic book artist, made his transition to storyboard art unproblematic. Jung's films as a storyboard artist include The Perfect Storm, The Salton Sea and Disturbia.

Creative process

An interview with Jung on the design and illustration of the 1974 poster The Man with the Golden Gun elaborated on his creative process: "The actual painting is done on 20x30 double-weight illustration board, half of a standard 30x40 board. I used acrylics, I can use it transparently or opaquely; it dries quickly and is permanent and can be reworked. I'd use airbrushing for large areas of background, color pencils, and inks and dyes and tempera and whatever else I think that may give me the desired result. Sandpaper. Brillo. A single-edge razor blade. Whatever works."[17] Jung often used family members as models. For the Star Wars poster design, with Frank Frazetta in mind as his final illustrator, Jung posed his son Jeff as Luke Skywalker and his wife Kay as Princess Leia.[8] After discussions with Don Smolen of Smolen, Smith and Connolly, it was decided that Jung would execute the illustration.

Jung has said he believes he does not have a recognizable technique. "I adjust my technique to the problem at hand, because being an art director in advertising it's really the end result that I'm after … anything to get the printed poster and the printed ad, which is the primary goal".[8]

Select illustrations and graphic design

Date Project[18] Notes
1954La Strada[4]US release, Pressbook including one-sheet
1955Death of a CyclistUS release (Age of Infidelity), Pressbook including one-sheet
1956Liane, Jungle GoddessUS release, Hand lettering design and illustration
1956The Captain from KoepenickUS release, Pressbook including one-sheet
1956The Sword and the CrossUS release, Pressbook including one-sheet
1957And God Created WomanUS release, Key Art
1957Confessions of Felix KrullUS release, Pressbook including one-sheet
1957 Monpti [19]US release (Mon Petit), Pressbook including one-sheet
1957The Golden Age of ComedyEileen Schutz Artist
1957The Prince and the Showgirl[19]Key Art
1958Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1958Yankee Doodle DandyRe-Release, Pressbook including one-sheet
1959Go, Johnny Go!Pressbook including one-sheet
1958HippodromePressbook including one-sheet
1959Plan 9 from Outer SpacePressbook including one-sheet, David Lewis Artist
1959Room at the TopPressbook including one-sheet
1960Day of the PainterPromotional Marketing Campaign
1960School for Scoundrels
1961Anna's Sin
1963Murder at the Gallop [19]
1963The Day and the HourUS Release
1963The Wheeler Dealers[19]Key Art
1964Murder Ahoy
1964Murder Most Foul
1964The Big Parade of Comedy [19]
1964The OutrageSanford Kossin Artist
1964The Unsinkable Molly BrownPromotional Record Album
1964The Young Lovers (1964 film)
1965Lady LRobert McGinnis Artist
1965Doctor ZhivagoHoward Terpning Artist
1966Grand PrixHoward Terpning Artist
1966Hotel ParadisoFrank Frazetta Artist
1966The Sand Pebbles[9]Graphics design one-sheet, Original Soundtrack and opening credits [20][21]
1967Far from the Madding CrowdHoward Terpning Artist
1967Gone With The Wind (re-release)[19]One-sheet, Original Soundtrack. Howard Terpning Artist
1967The Venetian AffairFrank McCarthy Artist
1967Tony RomeTeaser Poster
1968Ice Station ZebraHoward Terpning Artist
1968The Shoes of the FishermanHoward Terpning Artist
1969The Royal Hunt of the SunHoward Rogers Artist
1970A Man Called HorseVincent Marrone Artist
1970ScroogeJoseph Bowler Artist
1970Kelly's HeroesJack Davis Artist
1971Le Mans
1972Prime Cut
1972Super FlyOne-sheet, Original Soundtrack.
1972The Little ArkArthur Lidov Artist
1972The Revengers
1973Papillon[19]One-sheet, Original Soundtrack
1973White Lightning
1974Huckleberry FinnDavid Blossom Artist
1974The Day of the Dolphin
1974The Man with the Golden Gun[22]
1974The Spikes Gang
1974The Towering Inferno
1975Bite The BulletStyle A and B
1975BranniganRobert McGinnis Artist
1975Lucky Lady
1975Report to the Commissioner
1975The Man Who Would Be King[19]One-sheet, Original Soundtrack
1975The Old Gun
1975Smile[19]Key Art
1976Bound for GloryStyle A and B, Original Soundtrack
1976Burnt Offerings
1976Shout at the Devil
1976The OmenTeaser, Co-designer Murray Smith. Style F and Original Soundtrack
1977March or Die
1977Star Wars[19]Style A poster designer (later adapted as Style B by Brothers Hildebrandt), Half-sheet, Re-releases 1979, 1981, 1982, 1997 Trilogy designer, Original Soundtrack back cover and promotional poster.
1978F.I.S.T.[19]Key Art
1978The History of Country Music[23]Commercial use, Distributed to radio stations. Poster and album cover.
1978The History of Rock & Roll[23]Commercial use, Distributed to radio stations. Poster and album cover.
1978King of the GypsiesStyle A and B, Sanford Kossin Artist Style B
1978The Deer HunterSaul Cooper Initial Concept
1978The Great Train Robbery
1978The Greek TycoonDavid Blossom Artist
1978The Lord of the RingsStyle A and B
1978Who'll Stop the Rain
1979Apocalypse Now[19]Co-designer, Bob Peak Artist
1980Heaven's Gate
1980Raging BullStyle B, Co-artists Kunio Hagio and Paul Gross
1980The Dogs of War[19]
1980The Empire Strikes Back[19]Style B and re-releases 1981, 1982
1980The FormulaOne-sheet, Original Soundtrack
1981Raiders of the Lost ArkKey Art
1981Whose Life Is It Anyway[19]
1983Return Of The JediRe-release 1985, One sheet with Death Star exploding
1983Scarface[24]Key Art
1983The Right StuffOne-sheet, Original Soundtrack
1984Once Upon a Time in AmericaArtist Syle A, B and C. U.S. and foreign advertising campaigns
1984The Buddy System
1984The Razor's Edge
1985Weird ScienceDuane Meltzer Artist
1986ClockwiseDuane Meltzer Artist
1986Heat[19]Key Art
1987Flowers in the AtticCo-designer Nelson Lyon
1988Pass the AmmoCo-designer Ken Goodman
1989The Iron Triangle
1991Star Trek 25th Anniversary
1991–1993The Thrawn TrilogyBook Cover Art - Heir to the Empire,[19] Dark Force Rising, The Last Command,[19] Promotional Poster
2012WallendaShawn Hull Artist

Select storyboard artwork

The key skill: "One thing a storyboard artist needs to be able to do is be able to draw out of his head. There are many illustrators who have to rely on photographs, but unless you can draw out of your head like comic book artists, I don't think you can do it. … Normally, a storyboard artist is only called in when they are looking for special effects or action shots. But sometimes you have a guy like Alfred Hitchcock, he wouldn't even trust the camera and he would visualize every single shot."

Tom Jung in The Los Angeles Times, 2007[25]

Date Project[24]
1977The Baron
1996Mrs. Santa Claus (Trailers)
1996Ransom (Trailers)
1997Jungle 2 Jungle
1997The Relic (Trailers)
1998Chairman of the Board (Trailers)
1998Doctor Dolittle
1999My Favorite Martian
1999Stuart Little
2000The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
2000Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
2000The Perfect Storm
2001Hannibal (Trailers)
2002Collateral Damage
2002Frank McKlusky, C.I.
2002Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story
2002Star Trek: Nemesis
2002Stuart Little 2
2002The Salton Sea
2003The Haunted Mansion
2003Looney Tunes: Back in Action
2003Just Married
2004First Daughter
2004Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
2004Starsky & Hutch
2005Herbie: Fully Loaded
2005Two for the Money
2007Blades of Glory


  • The International Society of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, "Best Graphic Award", 1979, Lord of the Rings.
  • Key Art Award, Tom Jung, designer, illustrator, "El Francotirador": (The Deer Hunter) Latin America, Third Place, 1980.
  • Key Art Award, Creating and illustrating The Golden Years of Country, 1978.[23]

See also


  1. The Star Wars Poster Book, Stephen J. Sansweet, Chronicle Books (October 13, 2005)
  2. The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film, J.W. Rinzler, LucasBooks (April 24, 2007)
  3. Fort Jackson Leader newspaper 12/31/1953, U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum archives, Columbia, South Carolina
  4. CineFiles, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
  7. Movie Roadshows: A History and Filmography of Reserved-Seat Limited Showings, 1911-1973, Page 4, Kim R. Holston, McFarland (December 18, 2012)
  8. Star Wars, Selling The Force by Lawrence French, CINEFANTASTIQUE, Issue #124 - Vol 28 #7, 1997
  9. Visiting artist draws the movies by David Prabu, Athens NEWS contributor - courtesy of Daniel Saez, Athens (Ohio) News - Spring 1987
  10. Profiles in History auction, Lot 588 (April 30, 2009)
  11. Profiles In History auction (March 31, 2006)
  12. review of Star Wars Style A poster
  13. Profiles in History auction, Lot 639 (December 15, 2006)
  14. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films, Page 123, J.W. Rinzler, Del Rey (May 20, 2008)
  15. Profiles in History auction, Lot 360 (July 28, 2006)
  16. The Internet Movie Database, Tom Jung
  17. Illustrated007, Peter Lorenz, 2010
  18. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library Catalog, Tom Jung
  19. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library Production Art Database, Tom Jung
  20. Video of opening credits with Tom Jung's graphic design of American gunboat superimposed over a Chinese junk for the motion picture The Sand Pebbles
  21. Video of promotional preview with Tom Jung's graphic design of American gunboat superimposed over a Chinese junk for the motion picture The Sand Pebbles
  22. Illustrated 007, Man With The Golden Gun - Concept Art
  23. Drake-Chenault radio syndication company
  24. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library Catalog, Tom Jung Papers
  25. Sketching out the action, he loves making a scene - The Los Angeles Times, Susan King - May 20, 2007
  26. Rareform Pictures, Wallenda production
  27. Rareform Pictures, Tom Jung Wallenda storyboards


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