Game Of Thrones Wins 2011 Emmy Award For Outstanding Main Title Design

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use, ScreenFonts | Yves Peters | September 13, 2011

This weekend the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the 2010-2011 Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards for programs and individual achievements at the 63rd Emmy Awards presentation at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. The Emmy® Awards recognise excellence within various areas of television and emerging media. The Primetime Emmy Award is a symbol of peer recognition from over 15,000 Television Academy members, with each member casting a ballot for the category of competition in their field of expertise. It’s only after reading this post on the Art of The Title last year that I became aware there was also an Outstanding Main Title Design amongst the myriad categories.

Title sequence design is a fascinating art form. Image, sound and type merge into miniature movies that foreshadow what comes next, and create the right atmosphere for the audience. The best examples in the field transcend their original purpose, becoming works of art in their own right. They are celebrated on a number of websites, like the aforementioned Art of The Title, and Forget the Film, Watch The Titles.

Below are this year’s five nominees for the Emmy Awards 2011, with the winner at the end of the list. For additional information check the Art of The Title article.


Boardwalk Empire – Main Title Sequence from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

HBO’s Board Walk Empire – whose second season I am eagerly awaiting – maybe didn’t win the Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design, but it raked in no less than seven other awards.

From the Imaginary Forces website:

The Great War has just ended, booze has stopped flowing (legally), and women are fighting for the right to vote… Welcome to Boardwalk Empire. HBO’s latest epic series transports us to Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when organized crime was about to explode across the country.

Imaginary Forces worked with the show’s creator, Terence Winter, and the incredible teams at Boardwalk Empire and HBO to design and produce a main title sequence that brings central story points of the series to life and introduces us to the main character, Nucky Thompson, “ruler of the boardwalk”.

At first I thought I recognised Alternate Gothic, but the leg on the “R” told me the stylish white sans caps used for the credits are actually the wood type-inspired H&FJ Knockout.


Rubicon – Main Title Sequence from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

Imaginary Forces had two title sequences in the running; the other one being for AMC’s modern-day conspiracy thriller Rubicon.

From the Imaginary Forces website:

Rubicon, the latest suspense-thriller to join the AMC series line-up, revolves around government conspiracies and insider secrets that will make your hair stand on end.

The main typeface used in the sequence is Basic Commercial / Standard, complemented with Adrian Frutiger’s optical character recognition font OCR-B which was adapted and expanded into the three-weight family FF OCR-F, and Just van Rossum’s seminal handwritten script FF Justlefthand. The crossword puzzle is set in Lucida (Serif).

I couldn’t find the main title sequence for HBO Film’s Too Big to Fail in an embeddable format, so you’ll have to click the image to view it on the Shine website.

Shine was chosen by HBO Films to craft a main title sequence for the new financial meltdown thriller, Too Big to Fail. The story-based sequence not only showcases the film’s impressive cast, it also visually sets up the complex series of events that led up to America’s greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

With a combination of historical footage and graphic animation, Shine edited together an opening that is intended to be both informative and emotional.

Shine cleverly turned towards a variety of dot matrix faces to simulate financial tickers with the credits. FontShop has a number of handy FontLists with Dots on a Grid, Squares on a Grid, and LCD, LED, Scoreboards & Other Electronic Displays.


Any Human Heart – Opening Titles from HUGE on Vimeo.

Any Human Hearts sequence was covered last February on Art of The Title. The distressed typewriter face is perfectly cast.


Game of Thrones – Episode 1 Title Sequence by Elastic / Angus Wall.

The final nominee and winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Title Design is the main title sequence for HBO’s ground-breaking fantasy series Game of Thrones. A personal favourite of Ian Albinson, it has received over 57,000 page views in the few short months since it was featured on Art of the Title, and its popularity doesn’t appear to be waning.

The series logo is customised Trajan – I would have preferred to see something like Mason Serif.

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