Killer Design


Sitting on my couch one evening sorting through the streaming options at my fingertips, I saw a TV series pop up that caught my attention. I had been noticing this show in the headlines of my newsfeed, but when I started watching Killing Eve, it was not the headlines for the show that made an impact on me.

The opening title sequence, created by designer Matt Willey, utilizes a combination of modern design and some very subtle animation to communicate the main theme of the show. The foundation of the title utilizes an all caps font (minus the g, more on that later) to dominate the screen. This is a trend that is being utilized on the big and small screens as of late. This use of oversized letterforms spills over into the titles screens when the story enters a new venue, letting the viewer know where the next set of events takes place. You don’t have to question where they are at when VIENNA, LONDON or TUSCANY are staring at you.

The simplicity of this custom designed all caps font is contrasted with the inclusion of a lowercase ‘g’ used at the end of the first word in the title. Normally, the ‘g’ would sit on the baseline with the bottom loop of the ‘g’ hanging below forming a descender, but the designer chose to pull the letter up and set it on the baseline and giving a lowercase letter the feel of an uppercase one. This gives the branding a strong and unique feel that wouldn’t be there if every letter was capped. On top of that, the accent stroke on the ‘g’ breaks through the visual ‘envelope’ created by the letters within the cap height and baseline thereby giving even more character to this set of’ characters.

Up to this point, the title has utilized a well thought out use of typography and design of the letters within. The designer then adds another element to the title that takes the design to another level. In the space between the stokes for the ‘V,’ a drop of blood slowly dribbles down the letter. Since this is a show about the hunt for a serial killer, this subtle animation adds a small amount of movement to draw the eye of the viewer a step deeper into the design and also illustrates as well as foreshadows the upcoming events that will soon unfold. And if that was not enough for you, each episode begins with the drip of blood animating between the valley in the letters K, N and V. You never know where to look, so it becomes a game of hide and seek. There’s a certain level of satisfaction to find the drip before the title disappears.

As a designer who has pushed typography, illustration and animation around for years, the design, animation, implementation and over all thought process for the Killing Eve title and brand design is genius. Every step. Well played, but unfortunately it is so subtle that many people may just miss it. This is a great example of the combination of graphic design, typography, animation, video, branding and they would even tie this into their marketing efforts.

When it comes to branding and marketing your company, there are a wealth of tools to utilize, but it takes planning, knowledge and intentionality to use those tools effectively. Trying to leverage the tools to design a logo, create a website, develop an app or craft a marketing plan without the proper knowledge base is like giving a toddler a permanent marker and sitting them in front of a white wall. The possibilities are endless but the result will probably not turn out that well.

We love to help our clients communicate in effective ways and leverage these same tools to market them to their customers. We have years of experience working on projects like this. Don’t take for granted the effect of a well designed logo (or title) and remember that it’s easier to clean a toddler than the marker on a white wall.