Game of Thrones: Title Credits — A Designer’s Dream!

Anoth­er in NCD’s series study­ing design in movies, tele­vi­sion and com­mer­cials. Besides being fun, if you are pro­mot­ing a prod­uct, brand­ing or re-brand­ing your­self, it’s impor­tant to study how visu­als have been used to influ­ence and affect the con­sumer — one seg­ment of which is also your cus­tomer!

The cur­rent era of binge-wor­thy tele­vi­sion series has brought qual­i­ty writ­ing, act­ing and direct­ing, sto­ry lines you can sink your teeth into, icon­ic char­ac­ters and open­ing cred­its — that are a design­ers dream — to the medi­um.

Long a prized part of the movies, open­ing cred­its are as impor­tant as any first impres­sion – they set the mood and tone, pre­pare the view­er for what’s to come, and leave a defin­ing imprint on the audi­ence. It plays a big part in brand­ing both the series and the net­work that pro­duces it.

Out­side of movie sequels, open­ing cred­it design is a one shot deal for most projects, but series cred­it open­ings are unique in that the same one is seen each episode often for as long as the series lasts (which is an unknown enti­ty at the time they’re being designed).

The chal­lenge for their design­er is to cre­ate enough stim­u­la­tion in rough­ly 30 sec­onds that they will hold inter­est –and stay rel­e­vant to how the sto­ry lines devel­op — for as long as the series lasts. On rare occa­sion the cred­its do get changed.

HBO’s Game of Thrones title sequence is a per­fect exam­ple of both, and has won an Emmy for doing it so well.

Essen­tial­ly it is a map of the worlds that show the var­i­ous king­doms involved in each episodes to a robust, rolling theme song much like the music made by hors­es gal­lop­ing. The details (build­ings, roads, ter­rain) of each are com­plex, built from gears, wood, and met­al which move almost like toys from flat into 3‑D, named in a goth­ic font. The cam­era sweeps above and through them as it takes us trav­el­ing like a bird or a winged god. When one burned, it was shown in ash­es in the open­ing from the next episode. These change based on where char­ac­ters in the episode are and what hap­pens to each king­dom, as the cred­its for those char­ac­ters flash on the screen in dif­fer­ent places. Through­out you see sym­bols such as a drag­on, a deer with majes­tic antlers, a lion or a wolf, which, you come to real­ize, iden­ti­fy fam­i­ly names or crests. At the end it wraps into a burn­ing globe sur­round­ed by a met­al ring that shows the four sym­bols, con­clud­ing with the episode’s title card.

Com­pare the sub­tle and obvi­ous dif­fer­ences between the cred­its from the first in 2011…

…to the more recent Sea­son Six.

So much detail to look at that a view­er could watch each sev­er­al times and still not take it all in! What a great, cre­ative, ongo­ing gig for a design­er!

Do you want to bet­ter reach your customer’s heart, pique their curios­i­ty, or tap into — or actu­al­ly cre­ate — their want or need for your prod­uct or ser­vice? Con­tact Nicte Cre­ative Design. It’s our spe­cial­ty!

Rochelle Joseph
As Marketing Consultant, Rochelle brings the element of written media to NCD’s branding process, creating the link between the design that connects emotionally with your clients and the message that embodies the intention. Her extensive background in entertainment and media, working with all the major television, cable and radio stations across the country for over 20 years, fuels her ability to craft messages that appeal to each unique market.

What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.