Stranger Things Title: 80s Inpiration
Stranger Things logo and opening sequence do a superb job in capturing the nostalgic 80s style the series is famous for. In those famous 52 seconds the animated graphics set the tone for the amazing story that will follow. Our hearts beat faster, and at the same time, we are able to get lost in the decade we love most.
The legend around this logo wants the Duffers having clear ideas about the look and feel it should have. So let’s dive into the world of their nerdy 80s references and see how the talented creative team at Imaginary Forces worked with them to pull off one of the most popular logos in the history of TV.
Stephen King and ITC Benguiat
The font used for Stranger Things logo is ITC Benguiat, a popular font created in 1977 by genius typographer Ed Benguiat, loosely inspired by Art Nouveau. This was a hugely popular font during the 80s, widely used for artwork and book covers, especially horror ones (and it’s free, you can find it here).
According to the story of the logo, at first creatives at Imaginary Forces showed some proposals which used more contemporary fonts. Obviously that did not appeal to the directors, who felt the opening sequence should evoke that special 80s flavour the series is all about.
Then ITC Benguiat came about. The two brothers by then had delivered 12 Stephen King’s titles to the door of the agency, and the look and feel of those book covers was exactly what the directors were looking for.
The covers bring chills to your spine and are immediately recognisable, setting the tone for the story.
In a Vulture interview the directors said: “There’s something about when we were kids, when you would open up one of these big fat Stephen King novels that we loved. We wanted the show to have that sort of feeling every time you got to a new chapter.”
The extraordinary lettering of Richard Greenberg
The influence of those Spielberg book cover designs are quite obvious, but there’s more. Stranger Things goes against a popular trend of creating very complex intro sequences and logos in TV series. It is a typographic success created entirely with the use of the famous font (and thanks to the stellar synth soundtrack by Survive).
Going back to the power of lettering for opening sequences is a deliberate choice that has its roots in famous films by Spielberg and John Carpenter. Recapturing the feel of the 80s is no easy task, that’s why the Duffers looked at the work of Richard Greenberg, the genius title designer who created the ghostly screen of Alien, but also title sequences of 80s horror classics like Altered States and The Untachables.
Stranger Things Logo Design
Now we have a pretty clear idea what the references for the famous intro where. At the same time, we wonder how did the creative at Imaginary Forces come up with such a powerful sequence and logo.
The powerful logo was designed by Nate Asherman and Jacob Boghosian. They started from those 80s classic horror book covers and used ITC Benguiat to create a dramatic logo. Then they tweaked and moved things around so that those letters could perfectly interlock during the animation – image credit: Jacob Boghosian. (If you find logo histories as intriguing as we do, check out our MTV logo history.)
During the opening sequence a sense of intimacy and immediate connection with the story is achieved thanks to extreme close ups of the letters. What you see at first might seem like a beam of light, a red laser on a black background. Your heart is already pounding when you realise those are the spine of an S or close up of an N. A sense of unease is in place even before the story starts.
And finally, we also appreciate the pairing of typefaces used for the intro. The font used for the credits is Avant Garde, one more classic font of the 70s – this time inspired by Bauhaus. The two designers in question, Ed Benguiat and Herb Lubalin, were friends and since the 70s the typefaces they created form a strong alliance, which is once again successful in this entry sequence.
How to design with Stranger Things Aesthetics
Now you know the two main influences guiding the design process behind Stranger Things titles. You also have a better idea how the logo was created and the many steps taken to achieve this iconic design.
Now it’s your turn! If you are looking into creating a great logo, title or 80s nostalgic artwork we highly recommend you try one of our graphic resources. We have carefully crafted them so that you can achieve the results you want without thinking of the basics. Create your rad artwork the quick and easy way!