Anatomy of a Title Sequence. Interview.

Peter Crandall, a great friend and fantastic artist, designed the new opening title sequences (see below) for all of our videos. After proudly sharing them with other people, we realized that we wanted to know more about the whole process, so here is a recent conversation.

Tell us a little bit about where you are with your career.
I’ve been freelancing as a motion designer in Los Angeles for the past eight years. The majority of my experience and projects in motion design have been in the entertainment industry, which has entailed designing motion graphics for television shows/networks, opening title sequences to film, TV promos, commercials, and web videos.

Apple Inc. contacted me last fall (2011) to work at their Cupertino office to help out with some projects in their marketing department. In short, I’ve recently relocated to Silicon Valley and I’m now working more regularly with Apple. The relationships I have with the LA studios are still very important to me so I do my best to continue working with those studios when they contact me.

I understand you worked on Apple’s new iPhone campaign, can you tell us a bit more about that experience?
Working at Apple for a few months in preparation for the iPhone 4S launch was exciting and unique in a few ways for me. First, the focus is not on any celebrity, television show or other consumer media, but on a product; in this case the iPhone 4S. Second, Apple has a very established and successful marketing brand. Since the overall visual language of Apple is very simple and clean, the designing doesn’t lend itself exploring a wide spectrum of creativity like other brands in the entertainment industry I’ve worked with. Overall, the experience of working with the very talented team during the launch of the iPhone 4S was simply amazing.

Could you take us through the design process of “” from the early concepts, to the development stage and final execution? We are especially curious about how you decide on specific design elements like color scheme, typography, audio, and even the length.
Just like any project I start, the first thing I did in the design process for creating the intro animations of “” was to talk with Mr. Angel about his company and the context in which the intro sequence would exist.

The key concept I came away with from talking with Mr. Angel in developing the intro animation was the importance of the content itself. The web site covers many topics, so I thought about how they could be conveyed and ultimately turned keywords from the “tag cloud” on the site into a slot-machine style animation based on the keywords.

Having many different words whiz by helps give a sense of volume to the content, but at the same time help it remain playful. Since the function of the animation is an opening sequence to video content, I wanted the length of the animation to be informative and concise. After doing some tests and getting a good “feel” for the animation I started to explore some sound effects that would compliment the motion and reinforce the professional and friendly qualities of the web site as a whole.