Great Design on the Silver Screen

The other day at lunch, while taking advantage of the awesomeness that is Netflix, the Pure Vision Team and I began watching Catch Me If You Can, an excellent movie with a very well designed opening credit sequence. Catch Me If You Can is not an animated movie, however they chose to create interesting animated credits. This inspired me to write a blog on some great examples of graphic design, interactive design/animation, and illustration coming together in motion picture credits.

These opening sequences do far more than just introduce the cast and crew, they are mini films within the motion picture that tell a story and get the audience engaged. Often sequences like this have their own production/creative team and budget completely separate from the movie itself. In some cases the opening credits are arguably better than the actual movie!

Saul Bass was the graphic designer and filmmaker that originally created many animated title sequences to accompany live action motion pictures, some of this most famous being those for Alfred Hitchcock Films such as this one for Anatomy of a Murder. He created these sequences by producing animations out of cut paper shapes:


Saul Bass’ inspiration has given way to the incorporation of animated title sequences in many motion pictures including some great ones such as:
As noted above, Catch Me If You Can:


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:


Thank You For Smoking:


And even Disney has delved into creating title sequences in contrasting styles to the animation within the actual picture, such as in the favorite Monster’s Inc:

So next time you catch a movie pay attention to the opening credits and if you are interested in even more awesome examples check out websites like Forget the Film Watch the Titles!

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