The Winter King
Produced by Bad Wolf
Producer: Catrin Lewis Defis
Executive Producers: Lachlan MacKinnon, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter, Otto Bathurst, Toby Leslie, Kate Brooke, Ed Whitmore, Sherry Marsh, Shelley Browning and Kenneth L.Browning.
Directors: Otto Bathurst, Farren Blackburn, Anu Menon
Our concept premise…
From Neolithic times, the tribes of Britain and Northern Europe made their mark in stone, to stake a claim for their birth right and cultural immortality.
These ancient carved stones are an ever-present link to the past and the lost magic they possess.
“The Winter King” title and credits design draws inspiration from the neolithic stone carvings of ancient Britain, etched into hard rock amid an equally harsh landscape. In these carvings we find a sign, a herald of the one powerful sword, Excalibur.
The design followed a process of development, to incorporate Director, Otto Bathurst’s desire to reference both Excalibur’s sword-hilt design, and the four celestial bodies known as the Royal Stars, associated with the equinox and solstice since ancient times. This development resulted in a unique motif that intricately weaves the symbolism driving the storyline, with the art within the production. The infusion of magic (or is it science) manifests as a fiery molten iron-ore that fills the carved crevices, illuminating the hidden words and symbols.
The typography for the titling was chosen to have a rugged, naïve quality, in contrast to many similar period dramas. We wanted to continue the theme of the ancient human hand, so developed a look which has influences of Arts and Crafts typography, which in turn references Celtic and early medieval styles. Our type brand lies somewhere between a child’s hand and classical Roman, with a hint of Charles Rennie Mackintosh thrown in.
From a production and technical point of view, the main title design and symbols underwent an evolution from Adobe Illustrator drafts to three-dimensional geometry in Cinema 4D. Rock geometry and textures were sourced directly from Lidar scans of the Caer Cadarn environment, the show’s primary location, to continue the consistency with the overall look of the show and production design. Multiple lighting and texture passes were rendered from Cinema 4D/Redshift and finally integrated and animated with extra 2d effects using Adobe After Effects.
An equal part of the title design was the carefully crafted, bespoke main credits and place-name titling. All achieved within After Effects with use of the same texture maps, these maintained consistency with the stone carved type styling used in the main title. With each being designed specifically to suit the shot it was placed upon, this deliberate choice ensured that no two credits are identical, adding a layer of individuality to each episode.
This cohesive approach not only ensures visual consistency but also reflects the dedication to storytelling through a seamless fusion of design and technology. The combination of ancient inspiration, modern design, and advanced techniques culminate in a visually captivating and thematically resonant branding package for “The Winter King.”