We all know how a James Bond title sequence looks like, right? Suave and sexy in its graphic simplicity - perfectly suited for the man himself and the era he was born into. Thanks to Maurice Binder for this idea for the very first James Bond film, "Dr. No" (1962), this tradition continued. And it wasn't only in films but also in the dawning days of television that this art of the title was adopted - and with great success. Iconic genres got a contemporary update, too, by making use of it - like Iginio Lardani's title design for Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy. Or in a comic way like DFF Films' magnificently composed and witty sequences to "The Pink Panther" film series. And not to forget: Saul Bass' iconic contributions to films such as "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955), "Ocean's 11" (1960), "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959), "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963) and of course a bunch of classic Hitchcock films. It's not hard to see where the hit series "Mad Men" (2007- ) got their inspiration from in their own opening sequence.
Lately, films seem to have gone back in time to find aesthetic inspiration to suit their respective period dramas, whether it's the silent films of the 1920's ("The Artist", 2011) or the 1950s and '60s suspense films and sex comedies like some of the below listed movies.
I'm especially pleased to see Pixar Animation Studios making great use of these creative intros for their movies - so that children as well as adults can witness just how good some of the best animators that we have are and shoot down the argument that no one can draw or dare to be original anymore!
"Catch Me if You Can" (2002) Title Sequence:
"Down with Love" (2003) Title Sequence (follow link to video):
"Monsters, Inc." (2001) Title Sequence:
"Populaire" (2012) Title Sequence (unfortunately, no current video link exists):
"OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies" (2006) Title Sequence (follow link to video)
"The Incredibles" (2004) End Credits Sequence:
"Ratatouille" (2007) End Credits Sequence:
Furthermore, people seem to be inspired everywhere by the suaveness of these title designers and even graphic design students today use it in their final projects. Take a look at these:
Here, a fan-made title sequence for "X-Men: First Class" (2011):
And here, a fan-made intro to "Ocean's Eleven" (2001):
And this one, a Saul Bass-inspired opening version for "Pulp Fiction" (1994):
Another Saul Bass-inspired intro for HBO's successful series "Game of Thrones" (2011-present):
PS. If you're further interested in the art of title sequences and end credits, take a look at this little yet very insightful video :)