If you think typeface isn’t an important element comprising a film’s aesthetic and conveying its story, you’re deeply mistaken. Don’t believe it? Try watching this video of mismatched fonts used in famous movie title sequences and see if there’s a difference. Typeface design has played a crucial role in cinema from the very beginning, when silent films relied on intertitle fonts that were both stylistically memorable and easy to read. Today, there’s an entire industry dedicated to movie title design, and typography plays a crucial role. But rather than tailor their typefaces to explicitly depict a film’s content graphically or pictorially (as many of Hollywood’s big blockbuster producers like Spielberg or Disney are wont to do), some directors prefer to make a more understated use of type design that reflects their artistic vision. Here’s a list of some of the most iconic love affairs between bold directors and the fonts that we can’t imagine seeing their movies without.
The master of heartbreakingly bleak Swedish cinema took the typeface of his titles and credits very seriously. Bergman typically used simple title sequences that, often like the films themselves, drew an intense power from their quiet minimalism and unobtrusive beauty. Perhaps the most notable font favored by Bergman and used with relative frequency in his films is Windsor, which was more famously adopted by Woody Allen. The custom Scandinavian styled typeface featured above, however, is used in several of Bergman’s most personal and devastating works, including Persona and Hour of the Wolf.