Philip Castle, the man behind the poster for "Clockwork Orange"

It is one of the most famous posters in the history of cinema.

Famous because the film is a classic. Famous because its director is Stanley Kubrick. Famous because of the work of English artist Philip Castle. His signature technique: airbrush, a sort of miniature paint gun.

At the end of the 1960s, young Philip, who had recently graduated from the Royal College of Art, placed an advert in the London Evening Standard offering his services as an illustrator. The first to contact him was none other than Stanley Kubrick’s advertising manager, who invited him to the house of the famous director to talk about the poster for his next movie, a film adaptation of the novel by Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange, released in 1962.

Obviously this was Castle’s golden ticket and a few years later he was chosen to design yet another Kubrick movie poster: Full Metal Jacket. He went on to come up with album covers for David Bowie (“Alladin Sane”, 1973), Pulp (“His ‘n’ Hers”, 1994), Metronomy (“Night’s Out”, 2008), The Rolling Stones (“It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)”, 1974) and many more. He is also responsible for the posters for movies Mars Attacks by Tim Burton (1996), The Boyfriend by Ken Russel (1971) as well as Jack Nicholson’s Goin’ South (1978).

Moral of the story: whether it is clockwork one or not, “orange” will take you far.

“It’s very pointy…”, is what Philip Castle had to about the knife in his poster ©P. Castle