We Love the Credits: The Art of Film and TV Title Design from PBS Off Book

June 2, 2012

We Love the Credits: The Art of Film and TV Title Design from PBS Off Book

Design, pbs, credit

"It's a movie inside of a movie."
A well-written, designed and edited opening credit scene can excite viewers for what follows—it's like a teaser of sorts and a promise of quality, for better or for worse.

Design, pbs, credit

As moviegoers, we're so fascinated by these short clips that there are viral conversations about content, discussions of art and whole sites dedicated to cataloging the best title scenes.

PBS Off Book observes, "The credits are often the first thing we see when we watch a great film or TV show, but the complexity and artistry of title design is rarely discussed. Creators of title sequences are tasked to invent concepts that evoke the core story and themes of the production, and to create a powerful visual experience that pulls the viewer into the film's world." The artists are often tasked with portraying the mood or experience of a story in a unique and often different style than the actual film takes, forming at once something both an integral yet distinct part of the movie. "That's when design becomes filmmaking.

Finding interest in those stories, PBS spoke with some of the most inventive people working in the field—Peter Frankfurt and Karin Fong—Imaginary Forces, Ben Conrad—Logan, and Jim Helton—Blue Valentine. Those names were behind some iconic openings, including the Mad Men sequence, the hilarious Zombieland opening and "rules" sequences, and the end credits of Blue Valentine.

Design, pbs, credit
Design, pbs, credit
Design, pbs, credit

"When the movie starts, there's a precious little moment there that can't be wasted."

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

The Art of Movie Title Sequence Design
Three Components of Good Product Design from Off Book PBS
Behind the Scenes of the Catch Me if You Can Title Sequence

Ward Andrews

Ward Andrews

Hi, I'm Ward Andrews. I started Design.org in 2009, you can read about why here. Thanks for participating in the Design.org Community. I also run an interactive agency called Drawbackwards. I love basketball, electronic music and creating experiences that improve daily life. You can follow me on Twitter @wardandrews.

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Deep Thinking Product Designer / Remote

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