Credit Where Credits Due

Credit Where Credits Due

Creative Director Al here again - Just a quick blog before the weekend to follow on from my previous one on the legendary Saul Bass and his amazing work in movie titles.

Film Titles are often overlooked as we anticipate the movie that follows, but used properly they set the mood, tempo and even give plot clues to the main event. In no particular order here are my top five of all time. I've mentioned Saul Bass's Vertigo before, but in many was it was one of the frontrunners that spawned a now thriving graphic industry. So when you've got a minute make a cuppa kick back and enjoy these mini masterpieces.

1: Se7en

As a young designer at Central St Martins in David Carsons era of distressed design Kyle Cooper's credits to the movie Se7en were an absolute revelation. Not only did they set the tone but they actually contained information that when you re-watched the movie extended your understanding of the film. Coupled with a disturbing Nine Inch Nails soundtrack the result sent tremors all around the design world and cinema goers alike.

2: Bullitt

This Star vehicle for Steve Macqueen opens in truly breathtaking fashion accompanied by by the music of Lalo Schiffrin, the credits, designed by Pablo Ferro, ooze cool. This 1968 classic containing what many consider to be the grandfather of all car chase scenes is well worth a watch, even for the titles alone, the smoothness and precision of which are nothing more than stunning in a pre-computer age. I love the way Pablo Ferro uses typography to suggest a detective's work. Credits scroll onto and then off the screen, leaving behind a window of negative space. Rather than cutting between shots, the camera zooms into and through that negative space, giving the audience the sensation of moving deeper and deeper into something, like an investigator working his way through layer after layer of a case in order to uncover the truth.

3: Goldfinger

Designed by one of Graphic design's first superstars Robert Brownjohn (more on him in another blog coming soon) alongside Maurice Binder (who designed the famous gun barrel sequence). These are the archetypal Bond titles which have been copied (and often parodied) ever since. Beautifully executed and endlessly alluring. Brownjohn also designed the credits for From Russia With Love the year before but here, accompanied with Shirley Bassey belting out the classic title track, he created something truly magical, enchanting adolescents and parents alike.

4: Charade

A little bit more obscure this one but nonetheless totally brilliant. Title designer Maurice Binder had a rare gift for transforming story and character into graphic design. The opening titles for Stanley Donen's great espionage thriller "Charade" begin and end with the image of two arrows circling one another in an endless loop, a brilliant summation of the opposites-attract chemistry between stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

5: Vertigo

Yes, I know I mentioned this one before but it obviously had to make the top five so here are Saul Bass's breathtaking and disturbing titles to Hitchcocks 1958 masterpiece.