We often forget how many artists go into making a single T.V. or film production. Have you ever wondered who the creatives behind the opening credits of your favorite tv shows are? You know, the title sequences you don’t want to hit “skip intro” on. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the ten most creative T.V. title sequences. So buckle up, and thank you for being a friend. Just kidding, Golden Girls didn’t make the cut.
10. The Simpsons
The 1989 classic by Matt Groening is arguably the most iconic opening credits in television history. What makes it extra special is the unique thumbprint it leaves on every episode. It’s not static. The core of the sequence stays the same. But also leaves breadcrumbs to introduce the theme of each week’s show. Groening and the title sequence composer, Danny Elfman, gifted us a gem that viewers will be humming along to and even recreating for decades to come.
Stylized and layered, it’s the perfect introduction to a show about an innocuous, loveable serial killer. The designer behind Dexter’s credits, Eric Anderson, explained that he was looking for everyday occurrences that could be seen as horrific. This thinking combined with jaunty, upbeat music results in a crisp video that cuts to the quick. In true 2020 fashion it looks like we’ll be getting a fresh look at these credits.
- Stranger Things
The retro, 80’s themed intro was created by design studio Imaginary Forces and composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. It’s simple yet bold and unforgettable. Simplicity that’s this authentic is often the most problematic design to create. They pulled it off.
- Twilight Zone
Keep in mind this was made over 60 years ago in 1959. The writing is superb, and the shattered window gets me every time. Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling changed the opening credits a few times at the beginning of the series before landing on the one above. The Twilight Zone title sequence set the tone for a fresh look at tv and its audience.
I have many grievances with Westworld. But you can’t argue it’s aesthetically beautiful. The opening credits designed by Patrick Clair are eloquent, precise and contextually solid.
Filmmaking Collective, Elastic, creator of honorable mention True Detective and number two and three on our list also created this downright decadent sequence.
- Mad Men
There’s something so satisfying about a creative endeavor that is so seamlessly on brand. From the fonts to the colors and graphics, it’s evident that Mad Men understood it’s branding had to be impeccable given the subject of the show. And it didn’t disappoint. Creators Stephen Fuller and Mark Gardner took inspiration from the book “A Smile in The Mind” and the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest.
- Game of Thrones
I think we can all agree that the opening credits are the best part of the last season. Well, the credits, and when this happened. Filmmaking collective, Elastic hit another home run with this title sequence. The miniature board game like sequence illustrates the shifting chess game in Game of Thrones.
- The Morning Show
Designers Angus Wall & Hazel Baird are the brains behind this cheeky opening title sequence. The two creative directors at the design firm Elastic, received multiple Emmy nominations for their work on The Morning Show. The animation uses a color schema and music that plays on a mixture of old meets new. Rich with metaphor, it’s worth watching The Morning Show just for this title sequence.
- The Good Fight
Perfection. We get flashes of the famous Alan Rickman slow motion tea time. But The Good Fight title sequence has even more sophisticated editing and production value.
Fine possessions are highlighted and then a moment later exploded. Creator David Buckley obliterates expensive objects in front of a stark black background. It’s beautiful and hypnotic. Buckley and his team used a camera that shot 25,000 frames per second to capture the poetic imagery. Production cameras usually shoot at speeds of 120 frames per second. The camera was so fast it captured the most minute occurrences in excruciating detail.
Kaeley is a contemporary artist and cultural organizer who loves good espresso and a cold Coke Zero.