The Buffer Brothers’ Netflix production Stranger Things is causing a stranger sensation to pervade the minds of audiences. Is it the eerie synthwave soundtrack, offering muted rumblings of bass with arpeggiating highlights? Could it be the abstract opening, leaving viewers to search out a meaning in the intertwined, red vines? According to the brothers themselves, it’s all of the above, but one key component pulls it all together.
The typography of the Stranger Things title sequence is a classic in itself, and that’s because it’s already had some 30 years of screen time; screen time you’ve more than likely spent growing up on.
Harkening back to the electric 80s, the sequence is nostalgia entirely; imbued throughout the sequence and 8-part series itself with nods to Stephen King cover pages and 1980s Spielberg. In fact, the title sequence – created by heavyweight studio Imaginary Forces – is a callback to the work of title sequence master Richard Greenberg (think Goonies, Untouchables, Alien…).
The potency of nostalgia may be the evocative force, but the bridge to the past is built solely on the captivating typographic opening of the show.
At first, massive streaks of red float across the screen while credits fade in and out inside the cramping strokes. The camera zooms out to reveal the strokes as letters; the Benguiat font illustrating a chilling feeling reminiscent of King’s early novels. With light peering through the now thin, red lines, the typeface evolves into a fully formed presence.
Ethereal; paranormal; even unsettling. With a simple and effective typeface used in a purposeful motion, Stranger Things captures soul-stirring nostalgia in just 52 seconds. A proven example of classical design used in the modern world, and a smile-inducing tactic for any 80s obsessed creative.
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….and if you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, you’re missing out! It’s everything and more you could ask for from a Netflix original.