From Saul Bass to Scott Pilgrim, these great opening titles go under the pro designer microscope. Shares Movie title sequences set the tone, atmosphere and characters of a film for the audience. The likes of Saul Bass and Kyle Cooper have set the highest of movie title standards and as you'll see from this list, many graphic designers have clearly been influenced by them, while creating a new breed of iconic and culturally relevant movie title sequences of their own.
Here — in no particular order — we pick some of the best movie title sequences ever created and professional designers tell us why they work.
And if you want to nerd out further, take a look at our collection of the most imaginative movie wallpapers. Anne with an E Studio: Imaginary Forces Sequence Designer: Alan Williams Year of release: For this sequence Williams sought to bring the natural texture of real paintings into the 3D space.
The work of artist Brad Kunkle was selected for its depth and realism and also its use of gold and silver leaf, which creates interesting reflections. Brad Kunkle created additional paintings especially for the sequence and also served as art director, helping the team to ensure that his style was preserved.
Once modelled, we then projected these painted elements onto them. We even rigged and animated our Anne character but found it no longer read as a painting, feeling digital and uncanny. Jessica Jones Sequence Designer: Arisu Kashiwagi Year of release: So you never saw the scene in full; it was always a partial view surrounded by a sea of black negative space. How would the world look through her point of view? Incorporating negative space was intentional — it symbolised pockets of her blackout.
Black Sails Sequence Designer: Karin Fong and Michelle Dougherty Year of release: Once again, bringing natural textures into the 3D space was the key to creating a sense of authenticity, so Fong and her team photographed the set. Blur Studio Year of release: It's such a tonic to see the cast described in terms such as 'God's perfect idiot', ' A hot chick', 'A British villain' and 'A gratuitous cameo', not to mention the director summed up as 'An overpaid tool', that you might miss the glorious detail in the main business of the title sequence: The Pink Panther Sequence Designer: DePatie-Freleng Enterprises Year of release: Peter Sellers' relentlessly funny performance as Inspector Clouseau, and its spectacular title sequence that marries Henry Mancini's instantly recognisabletheme tune to animation by the legendary Friz Freleng.
The creator of iconic cartoon characters such as Yosemite Sam, Speed Gonzales and Sylvester and Tweety, Freleng produced an inspired cartoon short for The Pink Panther, turning the film's titular diamond into an actual pink panther who proved so popular that he swiftly became the star of his own long-running series of cartoons, as well as featuring in the titles of nearly all of the Pink Panther movie sequels. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Framestore Year of release: And while in the normal course of things we'd be concentrating on the pitched battle between the the Guardians and a massive tentacled beast, the title sequence neatly focuses instead on Baby Groot dancing to ELO's 'Mr Blue Sky', virtually oblivious to the mayhem unfolding around him.
It's joyful, explosive stuff that sets the tone for the rest of the movie perfectly. Saul Bass Year of release: Still effective and tense more than 50 years later, this is one of the most iconic title sequences committed to film.
Gaumont Year of release: If anyone was going to take this film seriously, the title sequence for JCVD had to take on the unenviable task of restoring his pride and possibly throw in a laugh or too at the same time.
This insane crescendo of aggression building to Van Damme's escape — only for the scene to be ruined by a clumsy extra at the last moment — and you to realise that this was all a deceitful ruse. Richard Morrison Year of release: We are then left for two and a half minutes, unsure of what we're witnessing.
Is it Gotham City? Is it the bat-cave? We are flung into the film's dark tones, which we then witness for the remainder of the cult-classic. Dennis Muren Year of release: Still, 35 years on, the brutal simplicity of the titles haven't lost any impact, especially coupled with the equally revered John Williams score. Kyle Cooper Year of release: This fuse is subsequently featured throughout the entire sequence and ties the whole thing together, with the camera following it wherever it goes.
Overall, a captivating and enthralling sequence. Enter the Void Sequence Designer: Tom Kan Year of release: The typographical choices were picked to depict each team member's personality and style throughout the film and is often described as a homage to their hard work throughout the filming process.
The finishing touch of LFO's 'Freak' perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Universal Pictures Sequence Designer: Richard Kenworthy Year of release: Everything about it matches the stylised comic-book world of the movie so well, which gets the film off to a great start.
Lord of the Rings Studio: Miramax Films Sequence Designer: It thrilled and terrified me in equal measure. The opening sequence is a mixture of live action in silhouette and animation in black deep red. This film has haunted me over the years, the way it looks, the music, the creepy atmosphere of it. Kuntzel and Deygas Year of release: Touch of Evil Sequence Designer: Orson Welles Year of release: Despite Venice Beach standing in for Mexico — and Charlton Heston standing in for a Mexican — the image is compellingly authentic, alive with an excited anticipation of what is to come.
Napoleon Dynamite Sequence Designer: Jared Hess Year of release: Once the film sold to Foxlight, Jared Hess was able to film the iconic titles that have gone on to influence many a film. Sticking to the film's organic look, the sequence features an array of objects including burgers, highschool IDs and ready meals. Not bad for a title sequence that was shot just with a 35mm camera and a Kino Flo in the basement of Jared's close friend and photographer Aaron Ruell.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Studio: Danny Yount Year of release: It's a perfect match for the funny and intelligent film. Fight Club Sequence Designer: Scott Makela Year of release: Starting off at the fear centre of the narrator's brain — the viewer is taken on a rollercoaster ride through a beautifully dark and disturbing ride out to the skull, complete with neuron firing 'lighting'. Technically the shots were pretty cutting edge at the time.
The feeling of being taken on a ride meant some compromise with the technical accuracy of the biological aspect of the shots supplied by medical artist Kathryn Jones , but the final result leaves a real sense of a white water journey being taken.
The opening titles perfectly set the scene of teenage innocence and instantly depict Ellen Page as the main character. As she walks through her home town, designers Gareth and Jenny use a mixture of 2D and 3D animation along with hand-drawn illustrations.
The Shining Sequence Designer: Whilst you're following the tiny car in an almost sublime landscape, the hints of Indian chanting add to the overall dreadful eeriness of the titles, enhanced by the cold credit sequence which rolls in reverse over the screen. You're almost relieved when you finally arrive at the Overlook Hotel - but then you still have to discover room