Best of Stash 2018: Title Design
Setting the tone and creating anticipation for a live event, feature film, or television series is both an enormous responsibility and a cherished creative opportunity. Here’s seven title sequences that rose above and beyond in 2018.
While this list is dominated by well-established names including Imaginary Forces, Method Studios, The Mill, Buck, and Ben Radatz of MK12, it also introduces two new talents to keep your eye on: Scott Geersen at Substance in Sydney, Australia, and Spanish designer/director Fernando Domínguez Cózar.
All these projects are featured in The Stash Permanent Collection in 2018 and are listed here in chronological order by publication date.
Fernando Domínguez Cózar, designer/director in Spain: “The director of the film, Jaume Balagueró, told me to make anything I wanted inside the aesthetic and tone of the film.
“I remember during the creation of the first style frames and concepts, I was sure he would tell me something like ‘Hey, it’s looking good, but can you make something more normal or less risky?’
“But after the first meeting with him and Filmax he said, ‘Fernando, I love everything, please keep going.’ Hearing that was like an incredible input of adrenaline.”
Karin Fong, director at Imaginary Forces in New York: “The project began on a creative call with the show’s creator Justin Marks.
“Just prior to the call I had started reading the script, so I asked Justin about the significance of the Go game that Howard (JK Simmons) plays. The game has such distinct motifs, so I was hoping that could become metaphorical.
“Justin explained that Go, with its many permutations, could represent the paths taken or not taken. He also used one phrase that really caught my attention: ‘Templates of Destiny’. I immediately wrote that down and used it as an early inspiration, looking for ways that fate and identity could be visualized as something structural.”
TEDXSYDNEY 2018: HUMANKIND
Scott Geersen, director at Substance in Sydney, Australia: The brief for TEDx Sydney 2018 was ‘Humankind’.
“TEDx Sydney founder Remo Giuffré indicated they were interested in touching on the long arc of human history, as well as incorporating the wordplay of ‘kind’ in humankind – on one hand, love, affection, and caring, and on the other, taxonomies or types.
“As an additional layer, the idea of creating a film that commented on society and culture was something we had wanted to do for a long time – using motion design to say something that could potentially travel beyond a single conference event, film, TV show, or commercial.”
2018 AICP NEXT AWARDS
William Arnold, art director at The Mill in New York: “The project brief was extremely wide open. The only mandate was that we create a title sequence, interstitials, and end credits all based on the same visual language.
“It was our decision to create software to procedurally generate the content and premier it in real-time.
“The main creative challenge was striking a balance between order and chaos. On one hand, we wanted our piece to feel rooted in traditional graphic design. But on the other hand, we wanted to showcase the generative quality of the visuals and embrace the unpredictable decisions driven by our real-time system.”
DEADPOOL 2 OPENING TITLES
Director, John Likens at Method Studios in New York: “Working on a Deadpool project is something I had dreamed about back before there was ever a mention of a film being made.
“So when Director David Leitch and VFX supervisor Dan Glass approached Method Studios to develop some materials for Deadpool 2, I couldn’t help but put together a concept treatment for an opening sequence.
“I thought it would be really fun to take Deadpool through the tropes of Bond film opening sequences, so we pitched the concept to David Leitch, Ryan Reynolds, and their team. Turns out they loved it as much as we did.”
“THE DEVIL WE KNOW” OPENING TITLES
Ben Radatz, director/animator in Los Angeles: “Stephanie and Brian (the director and editor) knew they wanted to use archival footage to tell the story of Dupont and their flagship product, Teflon, and give the audience some historical context, but they needed a visual framework to hold all of the footage together.
“My role was to weave everything into a top-level graphic system that felt true to the subject matter and kept visual continuity throughout.
“Ultimately I landed on a semi-agnostic design language that was inspired by some of Dupont’s own vintage branding and evoked the industrial optimism of the ’50s and ’60s.”
CAMP 2018 CONFERENCE TITLES
Jenny Ko and Steve Day, CDs at Buck LA: “We really wanted this to feel like some bad-ass, SUPER-SEXY SMASH-PARTY where anyone and everyone is welcome so we tried to make sure there were equal amounts of bouncing parts for all to enjoy.
“We made the music track ourselves, which we’re pretty proud of. Marc Steinberg did an amazing job with all the synthesizers, bass, and percussion, and Andy Lyon killed it with the guitar.
“Then, all of the ‘vocal talents’ are peeps that work at our Buck office and we think it adds an extra layer of authenticity and fun to the track. There are other stories too, but they’re not really appropriate to publish here.”