Create the title sequence for filmmaker Gary Hustwit’s Rams, a 2018 documentary portrait of one of the world’s most influential industrial designers.
Visually embody Rams’ guiding principles of simplicity, honesty, and restraint using subtle type animation and creative editing techniques designed to show the icon in his natural element.
Opening titles and a key interstitial segment ultimately helped shape the design language of the film, described by critics as one of Hustwit’s most important works to date.
+ Graphic Design + Title Design + Animation
Hustwit’s film seeks to illuminate Dieter Rams’ perspective on consumerism, sustainability, and the future of design.
Rams begins with a purely editorial sequence combining photography, live action, and minimal typography set to an intensely minimalist composition by Brian Eno. We worked closely with Hustwit and his creative team from initial concept to final execution, continually simplifying, discarding, and streamlining the title sequence to honor Rams’ iconic style.
The opening titles frame Dieter within his home studio, establishing an intimacy that counters his legendary status.
As the film begins, a monospaced font inspired by typography in Rams’ iconic creative manual “As Little Design As Possible” subtly animates across the screen. In the background, the rack focus cleverly aligns still imagery with footage of the designer captured between interview sessions. Quick cuts and large editorial breaks punctuate the honest visuals and moving soundtrack, emulating the powerful minimalism made famous by the creative legend.
Dieter’s ’10 Principles’
In the 1970’s, Rams became increasingly concerned by the state of the world, describing it as “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors, and noises.”
In response, he wrote the “Ten Principles for Good Design” — a list of rules many designers still live by today. Part of our assignment was to visualize and animate an interstitial segment in the film voiced by the designer himself, describing each rule and its meaning.
The animated segment features some of Rams’ most iconic designs throughout history, as well as some lesser-known, rare products Hustwit’s team found and shot at the Vitsoe store in New York City. Repeated frames and parallax motion creatively guide viewers rule-by-rule through the sequence, all of which maintain the same “less is more” design philosophy established in the main titles.
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