From Dune to The Batman, we’ve seen some pretty spectacular film posters over the last twelve months. But often the older ones are the best – and taking things right back to 2000, this awesome American Psycho ad is killing it on Reddit right now.

At first glance it just looks like an American flag with the stripes depicted as streaks of blood, right? That would be clever enough – but look a little closer, and it’s even more ingenious than that. Like all of the best print ads, there’s more going on here than first meets the eye.

American Psycho movie poster

Computer, enhance (Image credit: TVNZ 2)

See those buttons? See how the stars are actually printed on fabric? That’s right, what you’re looking at is a shirt and tie – presumably belonging of one Patrick Bateman. And that blood presumably belongs to one of his victims. 

Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi NZ for New Zealand’s TVNZ 2, the ad recently resurfaced on Reddit – where it’s proving bloody popular (sorry). “I wanted to find something wrong with it. It’s just perfect,” one user comments, while another adds, “When I saw it was a tie, I gasped.” “Design home run,” one user succinctly sums it up. 

ad_for_american_psycho_2000 from r/DesignPorn

Indeed, there’s nothing like a seamless optical illusion – especially one that so perfectly captures the essence of the subject. Just like the Boston album cover that recently set the internet alight, this one is designed to make you double – nay, triple, – take. It’s no surprise that the American Psycho ad won Gold in the 2009 AXIS awards.

From this brilliant lockdown-themed Kit-Kat poster to that genius Norwegian Airlines ad, we’ve seen some brilliant print design over the last few months. Want to create an ad of your own? Check out our guide on how to download InDesign.

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