The Top 10 Best Designed Movie Title Sequences
The opening title sequence of a movie or TV show is the perfect canvas for great design. In fact, our web designers often turn to movie logos, animations or sequences for website design inspiration.
The visual style of a movie's opening is particularly interesting because it must not only set a good first impression, but establish the mood for the following film. Here are 10 good examples of unique title sequences that make use of fantastic design as they set the tone for the feature to follow:
10. Catch Me if You Can - Opening Credits
The retro style animation of these opening credits is perhaps the most memorable aspect of the entire movie. Providing a basic preview of the plot to come, the design reflects the 60's era of the movie with stylish characters, bold colors, moving lines, and a jazzy soundtrack.
The visuals are fast-paced and energetic, and the music is mysterious and catchy. This creates a sense of excitement and anticipation, which is appropriate for a film about a con artist who is always one step ahead of the law.
9. The Walking Dead - Intro with Dark Design
This intro makes great use of grainy B-roll clips of desolate southern locations. Frame rate is increased as focus moves between foreground elements to create a sense of discomfort. The results is a very isolated feeling that's only amplified by a tense, slightly-frantic soundtrack.
8. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Opening Credits
This exciting opening is perfect for two reasons: one, it offers a preview of the exciting adventure the audience is about to experience through its quick camera movements and brief preview shots of the upcoming scene. Secondly, the titles pay homage to the original 1960's Mission: Impossible TV show by essentially recreating the same intro in a modern format. This intro also serves of an example of visuals perfectly complimenting the music.
7. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies - Opening Titles Flat Design
The opening credits for this DC Comics animated movie uses a bold color palate to mix symbols for Superman, Batman, and the United States. The use of 3D animation while excluding shadows and gradients leaves an interesting flat, pop-art styled look. Great inspiration for any designer seeking to create a bold, flat-art web design.
6. Spider-Man 2 - Opening Title Sequence Design
This is a great example of a title sequence that not only looks attractive but serves a purpose other than simply displaying credits. The viewer is quickly brought up to speed with the narrative through a sequence of paintings depicting scenes of the previous Spider-Man movie. Brilliant, web-like transitions move from one illustration to the next while incorporating the black, red, and blue Spider-Man colors. This sequence was actually created by Kyle Cooper, the same designer of the opening credits in the movie Se7en.
5. House M.D. - Opening Intro
The House titles make use of medical images with transitions timed to great theme music. Elements like the downward spiral of a vein and the quick zoom to a brain play well with the theme of the show and soundtrack. A great example of the mixture of themed visuals with audio.
4. Monsters Inc. - Opening Intro Animation
This playful opening title compliments the film's modern 3D look with an interesting older style of 2D animation. The title appropriately features monsters and doorways to move credit text whimsically from scene to scene. The colorful style and nimble animation of this sequence effectively accompanies the movie itself. It has a great retro design that has our web designers inspired to create an old school website design.
3. The X-Files - Opening Credits
The X-Files opening credit sequence is brilliant and well-designed for a number of reasons. First, it perfectly captures the tone of the show. The visuals are dark and mysterious, and the music is eerie and suspenseful. This creates a sense of anticipation and dread, which perfectly sets the stage for the show's often-terrifying stories.
Second, the title sequence is visually interesting. While it may look a little dated by today's standards, the visuals were groundbreaking when it first debuted in 1993. The use of shadow and light is masterful. The sequence is visually dynamic, with a variety of different shots and angles. This keeps the viewer engaged and creates a sense of excitement and wonder.
Lastly, the title sequence is iconic. The simple yet effective design has become instantly recognizable, and is one of the most memorable aspects of the show. The sequence has even been parodied and homaged in other shows and films.
2. Se7en - Opening Title Sequence
One of the most famous opening title scenes of all time, this sequence was especially groundbreaking when the film was released in 1995. An edgy mix of handwritten credits combined with coarse, close-up images and quick transition cuts create a sense of uneasy terror that carries through to the accompanying film.
The visuals are dark and disturbing, and the music is eerie and suspenseful. This creates a sense of unease and dread, which sets the stage for the film's dark and disturbing story.
The title sequence also uses a variety of techniques to create a sense of visual interest. The use of shadow and light, for instance, is masterful, and helps to create a sense of suspense.
1. Captain America: The First Avenger - Ending Credits
Sure, this is technically the ending credit sequence, not the title - but it's too good not to include.
This incredibly well-designed animation uses an art deco style which plays off the World War II setting from the film. Vintage posters come to life as the camera zooms in and out iconic wartime scenes.
The credits leave the viewer with a sense of hope and optimism. The visuals are bright and colorful, and the music is upbeat and inspiring. This creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for the future, which is appropriate for a film about a hero fighting for freedom and justice.
The result is a wonderful, patriotic display which perfectly compliments the film.
CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Compass, Drew Harden has grown and guided the company from a two-person startup in 2007 to one of the Midwest's leading digital marketing companies today. He's a published author, has been cited by PR News and USA Today, and has led web projects that have been honored by organizations like Adobe and American Design Awards.