By Design: The Joe Caroff story is a warm history lesson of movie imagery

The real ones know. The die-hard fans of movie making understand how much the graphic design of a poster or logo can create an aura of a product before the viewer even sets foot in a movie theater.

This is why By Design: The Joe Caroff story, premiering this week on HBO will appeal to the true movie lovers.

Caroff has created some of the most memorable movie designs in history.

West Side Story. Cabaret. That iconic James Bond 007 logo. All him.

There is more to this story than the actual work. Caroff’s family have an interesting history. The way he explains meeting his wife Phyllis, followed by her own contribution to the documentary, might be the best part of the entire program. Like any good documentary, there are some challenges described. Caroff didn’t get everything, “The Untouchables” went to someone else.

It’s only an hour long, and it moves quickly. That’s why even if the subject matter doesn’t jump out at you, it’s a light TV investment.

I’m happy this was made. Director Mark Cerulli has given us to chance to learn about someone important who affects our love of movies more than we’ll ever know.

And there is a post credit interview. Stay for it!

By Design: Joe Caroff

GRADE: Let’s give this enjoyable time a simple recommendation for viewing

Rated: NA

Running time: 58 minutes

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