The Power of Type in Motion

Michelle Dougherty created titles inspired by Richard Greenberg, creator of opening credits for ‘80s movies like “Alien” and “Dirty Dancing.” When she created her own titles, showrunners and directors took no interest, however when she met the Duffer Brothers, creators of “Stranger Things,” she was finally able to bring her ideas to life. Dougherty drew inspiration from the imperfections seen in ‘80s titles. In these, she noticed their lack of uniformity due to flickering lights, inconsistency in color, and slightly jagged movements. Though these imperfections were more prominent in the ‘60s and ‘70s, small budgets still left these circulating in the 80s. As said by Dougherty, most of the time, you are creating a title before the music is selected. In this case, the Duffer Brothers had the music for the title sequence selected which aided in the process of creating the title.

Now that we are in the age of binge-watching, opening titles can be boring for the viewer due to the repetitiveness of it or the length of it. Dougherty claims that the Duffer Brothers did a great job with placing the title after dramatic moments within the show, causing the title to become part of the show. The Stranger Things opening is not only a fitting successor to a revered title design tradition, but a testament to the power of type in motion and the enormous potency of nostalgia.