Movies are, without argument, the meeting ground of all forms of art. They draw in artists from all fields, from make-up artists to set designers, from graphic designers to interior designers, no artist is left out of the movie-making process. As a designer and wannabe illustrator, I can’t help but love the world of movies.
Although movies incorporate many forms of art, I can’t help but focus on title credits. Title credits are an excellent way to introduce the film’s world, and they do so through the use of eye-catching visuals and mood-setting music. These are the things that set the stage for the entire film; the elements that draw you into their world.
Zombieland is a great example of using credits to their fullest. The credits are run over, smashed into, and otherwise destroyed by the chaos happening on screen. They’re not just a rolling list of big celebrity names, they’re part of the action. They’re nearly characters themselves. By being physically part of the action, they tell you something about the state of the world they’re ‘in’ and give insight into the world these characters live in. (Honestly, I could go on endlessly about Zombieland’s wonderful typographic integration, but that’s for another blog post.)
Art of the Title is the perfect blog to follow if you’re looking for great examples of innovating opening credits. This blog offers insight on the title credits of shows such as Mad Men, Cowboy Bebop, and Fight Club. And Zombieland, of course.
Another great blog to follow, called The Movie Title Stills Collection, archives Movie Titles from 1920 to the current age. Not only is it interesting to see the history behind the art form, it also makes a good reference. Learning about the trends of the past can be very helpful for inspiration. Plus it’s just fun to look at all the old typefaces and movie titles.
Movies universally catch attention. Their ability to seamlessly integrate so many art forms into one solid piece is without compare. And often without praise. So next time you watch that old family-favorite, be sure to pay a little more attention to all the little details that went into making it. You might spot something that will turn that old movie new again.