I wanted to blog about one tv show’s title sequence design and one movie’s title design. I chose House MD for the tv show and The Kingdom for the movie.

A. House MD (see the intro here)

  1. First, I like how the music works really well with what’s happening visually on the screen. Text and visual elements are introduced on the screen corresponding to beats in the music. For example, the skull and “H” appear on screen when the first pulse is heard in the music. Also, I like that as the intensity of the music increases, so does the imagery. At about the 15 second mark the music starts to increase in tempo. At this moment, more images appear on screen very rapidly in order to match the music.
  2. Second, I like how elements transition in between each other. In the foreground of the first few seconds, the first “H” transitions into the word “House” with this kind of blur effect. Simultaneously, in the background, the skull transitions into a moving image of the doctor, which then quickly morphs into some type of cell structure. It is very quick and very subtle, but it creates a nice effect. You are never bored- your eye always has multiple things to look at (without it being too busy).
  3. Third, I like the mixture of a variety of types of visual elements. Not only are they using type and video clips in this intro, but also incorporating x-ray imagery, 3D models, and even some hand drawn elements. The overall effect is an interesting mix of elements that work well together visually. Also, I like that none of the images are static, but always growing, rotating, or moving in some way. And that they have the same muted color palette of skin tones, rusty reds, and browns/blacks.
  4. Finally- what I might change. It’s hard to say what I would have changed about this opening sequence because it’s obviously very good. However, one thing that seems a little out of place is the river scene that occurs at about 19 seconds. It seems a little out of place compared to everything else, although it might be setting the scene for the show a little bit. However, in this show, they’re almost exclusively in the hospital and not outside very much.

B. The Kingdom (see the intro here)

  1. First, I like the variety of visual elements. In the same way that the House intro used a variety of media, I liked the variety of visual elements in The Kingdom; like old video footage, type, 3D renderings, still images, digital illustration and motion graphics. All of these elements worked very well together to create a complete vision. There were points in the intro where multiple visual elements were incorporated into one scene (see below), which creates a really stunning effect visually.

    Example of a variety of visual elements being incorporated together in the frame

    Example of a variety of visual elements being incorporated together in the frame

  2. Second, I liked the excellent use of type. The use of typography in this intro is pretty amazing. As you can see in the picture above, the typography becomes a part of the design, which is something I aspire to do in my designs. The type choice is very appropriate considering the subject matter- it looks like a military typeface, very bold, and appearing in camouflage colors of black, green, and tan.

    Type used as a part of the design

    Type used as a part of the design

Type combined with digital illustration and motion graphics

Type combined with digital illustration and motion graphics



I like the different ways they use the type to enhance the storyline. In the early part of the intro, the type is used as a timeline element, but it’s also integrated into the landscape as part of the horizon.




Later on, type is integrated nicely with other visual elements, like photos and digital illustration.






3. Third, I liked the way the music and sounds impacted the design. The music in this piece makes your heart pound and is very appropriate to the subject matter. In the beginning of the intro, the music softly builds and establishes an uneasiness.  As the camera begins to reveal the desert landscape, you hear what sounds like wind sweeping over the sand and a radio frequency. Then, what sounds like an 1930’s era radio announcer tells the story of how Saudi Arabia came to be. This all serves to set the scene for the viewer; establishing the reference to the Middle Eastern part of the world and to that point in history.

The sound effects correspond to how the type is displayed on screen and to the effects applied to type and other elements. The music and sounds build up to the point in the video referring to 9/11, then it dramatically stops. I think this shocks the viewer and makes you stop and think for a second as the screen is black and there is silence. Then, the faint sounds of ambulances comes in. This is another example of how the sounds perfectly complement the visual elements and lay the groundwork for a ridiculously amazing opening title sequence.

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