“Forget the film, watch the title sequence”

There can be no fine, explanatory project without a wise and courageous client – Walter Herberg’


How to communicate the aim of the film whilst creating the film credits? How to provide the required information conveying the aesthetic and mood of the film? How to make this information accessible without compromising the individual take on design? How to generate the specific dialog between the designer and person, who the design is addressed to, through the synthesis and visual interpretation? I would like to explore the creative freedom of the designer.

The following proposal derives from the overall interest in graphic design, music (sound) and film. And it is inspired by the Polish Poster School principles and its approach to the design, where an individual character of the artist an personal experience are the crucial part of the creative outcome. I would like to examine whether it is still possible to adapt same creative methods to the present design.

These attributes of the distinctive character and the power of the polish designs, have been expressed in ‘Graphis’ magazine:

“These Polish posters have everything the good poster should offer to passer-by. Their eye-catching effect derives from their novelty, their technique and colours, their bold layout. They also stay in memory, planting in the observer’s mind a subconscious content, which pulls the curiosity back to the film they advertise. This content is drawn from an analytical and nearly psychoanalytical study of the contents of the film, and its converted into a symbol of unmistakable individuality.’

To repeat after Jan Lenica ‘the presence of this design on the streets reached far beyond the limited purposes of an information or advertisement” These impressive images were produced to seduce the viewer, as Walemar Swierzy coined by the simple glimpse at it.’ The graphic meant to synthesise the whole story, giving a clue in the visual information.

Bringing up Danuta Boczar words ‘the film poster artist (…) focused not on the literal transcription, not on captioned photographic still from movie, but rather on artist interpretation of the climate and the mood of the film. It may be argued that such subjectivity renders the information-carrying function of the poster ineffective (…) the information transmitted is, therefore, essentially visual not literal.”

IMAGE HAS TO PROVOKE! – Roman Cieslewicz coined in one of his interviews, stressing the importance of powerful design. Graphic designers in Poland established the peculiar communication between the artist and the viewer, characterised by the synthesis and interpretation.

I would be specifically concentrating on the film title sequence. Film credits, as any design object, cannot exist in the vacuum and have to be constructed with the purpose and the context. However, like Polish Posters title sequences found their way to become the cult design pieces within themselves, in spite of the context they have been created. Title motto of this project has been taken from one of the numerous websites dedicated to title sequences (an title sequences only). Frank Fox has mentioned, in his publication about the poster design in Poland, “the only way to obtain the poster was to catch the man with the glue bucket just as he was to paste one on a fence an offer him few zlotys or half liter of vodka’.
Both examples of the mass production end up as ‘objects’ of people’s desire. As the poster in Poland would title sequence have a chance to become the independent design piece?

The numbers of issues mentioned above have generate the general concept of my research. Following the principles of Polish designers, adopting the playful nature around the definition of the poster, this project have potential to develop an individual approach and interpretation to what film credits could be.