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If you’ve seen Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, you’re well aware of how effectively those first few seconds grab the viewer. In director James Gunn’s amusing opening sequence, Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) dances across an alien planet to the tune of “Come and Get Your Love” while the film’s title and main credits appear on the screen around him in a custom typeface that very much contributes to the energy of the scene.
Sarofsky Corp. is responsible for that custom typeface, as well as how and where the words appear (and disappear) on screen (both in this opening sequence and in locator cards throughout the film). The custom typeface has qualities similar to that of the official logo for the film, and, according to Sarofsky’s press release, is influenced in part by 1980s typography.
Sarofsky Corp. is no stranger to working with Marvel Studios. Just last year they created full-screen, fully animated titles for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was very well received. This project, however, required a different approach from Sarofsky Corp.’s creative team of designers, animators and producers.
“We always look at projects to see how our talents can best be utilized, and in this case, it was about us showing restraint and precision,” explains company president and owner Erin Sarofsky. At its core, this was a typography assignment. Essentially, we set out to create typographic elements that are legible and cool-looking, but not overly emphasized… most important was that they had to work into the plates seamlessly and not take away from Star-Lord’s performance.”
As the opening scene was revised by Marvel Studios’ editors, Sarofsky was challenged to ensure that the placement and timing of names changed accordingly.
“Also, their cut starts out kind of slow and methodical, then half way through, ramps up when Star-Lord puts on his headphones and the music livens things up,” Sarofsky adds. “To play against that with the animation, we start the first half with simple fades as the names come on screen. When the music kicks in, the typography begins to really animate on and off in a more fun way.”
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