Typography in Title Design

Taught by Mark Bowey

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
January 2012 
5 hours 47 minutes 
This course is about all things Titles; with a specific focus on TYPOGRAPHY and THE CRAFT of TITLE DESIGN.

We begin by looking at a short history of some of the most innovative and influential graphical and typographical sequences: from Saul Bass's groundbreaking opening sequences for Hitchcock, and the graphical expression inherent in iconic Sixties movies such as James Bond and Clockwork Orange, via 'Alien' and 'Se7en', and right through to current notable typographic milestones including 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and the stable of Imaginary Forces work.

This early focus on the 'language' being used by the typography then takes a practical turn, as we put together two very different genre title sequences- but using the same base footage- to very different effect, due to typographical approach and graphical styling.

Along the way we will look at many different examples of how fonts and layout express themselves: through sci fi and horror, to comedy, historical epics, thrillers- each genre seems to employ different type faces to signify a specific language. Throughout, we will look at how branding, and generic usage of typography give and add real presence and impact to a movie, effectively expressing it's characteristics and personality, and adding to the narrative early-on in the piece.

We'll also look at and breakdown several 'real world' examples. We will look at where to source these fonts, and how to use them- and where to manipulate them so they always sit-up clearly onscreen.

Software includes Illustrator, After Effects, Photoshop, Maya, Mocha, Final Cut
Typography in Title Design
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

A brief look at key sequences and movie titles, with a specific slant on graphical and typographic milestones. Everyone has their favourites- and indeed their dislikes. These are ones Mark thinks really contributed to our current rich titles pool.

Class 2

We complete our brief journey through the 'greats' of title design, before taking a detailed look at Optical Flares - an essential part of a designer's toolkit. Using Flares, Mark completes the typography and title reveals for 'The Sheik' end promo.

Class 3

Can you say you 'trust' a font? We look at several different examples showing how different type faces create different moods or interpretations in title sequences, when set. Some fonts may say 'comedy'; others 'thriller'... We hone in on a suitably 'trustworthy' font, one appropriate, perhaps, for wildlife documentary titles...

Class 4

We kick off the first of our real world title briefs. Mark meets Carlos Ledesma, the director of 'Incendia', and talks about the brief for the titles for this sequence. We also look at combining optical flares with other bundled AE effects to create a finished title string.

Class 5

How to choose and find your font: Mark takes us across several online type foundries looking for a fresh typeface for the "Incendia" titles. We look at different characteristics and traits of various possible fonts before closing in on a new release which is a strong choice for the project. We "road test" it prior to purchase

Class 6

We take a look at some of the footage that we have specially shot for out title sequences. First up, we try several different fonts, and look at ways to use "white space" around an actor's face, or picture composition, to enhance the typography.

Class 7

We return to the Incendia/ Fire Dance project. We look at the different impact on type changing the title's words create, as well as ways to combine other fonts on the same screen effectively. Finally a brief overview of 'Form', as we begin to animate the completed Fire Dance typography.

Class 8

We continue our look at Form and Particular, as we apply motion to several of the title designs for the 'Fire Dance' project.

Class 9

We look around Final Cut as we work up titles that appear in between and over a new Pool Table dialogue sequence. Plus, more ideas and treatments for Title logos for "Hustler."

Class 10

We complete the course by looking at a specific title sequence for the 'pool table' footage, where the title 'writes on', and incorporates close-up shots of the balls on the table. Finally we look at 'Robert' and design the opener for this short film, and also look at cutting-out letters and illustrations for a large paste board, in an analogue fashion, for Robert's credit sequence.