Hudson-Powell creates a title sequence inspired by the emergency services for new comedy, Bloods
Inspired by the visual vernacular of the emergency services for a new comedy starring paramedics, Hudson-Powell create a bold title sequence full of design details.
- 7 May 2021
- Lucy Bourton
Pentagram London’s Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell have created the title sequence and graphic visual language for a new Sky TV comedy series, Bloods. Centred around two paramedics based in South London, the series, created by Nathan Byron and Samson Kayo, features the storyline of an unlikely pairing of paramedics. Starring Maleek (played by Kayo) and Wendy (played by Jane Horrocks) the series follows “their comedy-filled antics with colleagues and patients alike,” reads a release by Pentagram. The Hudson-Powell team’s approach, in turn, graphically pulls upon the visual vernacular of the emergency services in its use of type, chevrons and numerals, as well as its colour palette and motion approach.
Considering the Pentagram partners are relatively new to the world of title sequences, the brief for Bloods’ graphics developed through conversation, “something which doesn’t happen enough,” Jody Hudson-Powell tells It’s Nice That. Sitting down with producers Ash Atalla, Alex Smith and Seb Barwell, Jody adds that from “the fact they got in touch with us, it was clear they were open to seeing where the graphic language for the show could go,” says the Pentagram partner. “I think they liked that we hadn’t done lots of TV titles before,” with the pair sharing their previous work for the likes of London Fashion Week to offer a taster of their design approach.
Despite the open brief, Jody and Luke, and their team at Pentagram, had a ballpark of creativity to play within, taking into consideration that the titles must appear natural when displayed in a comedic television show. “The show has a format, and it’s of a genre, so we had to land the viewer firmly in the right place,” explains Jody. “However, it’s a contemporary piece of TV and needs to connect to its cultural context. We wanted to create a visual language that felt reductive and bold and drew from the subject matter.”
Throwing around various ideas to begin with, the team soon settled on “this borrowed look” of in-use emergency services graphics. For instance, the colour palette of maroon, yellow, orange and green references paramedic uniforms, which “naturally gave us the bold graphicness we were after,” adds Jody. “Something industrial, but with popping colour.” Utilising this palette across a chevron style illustration border for the title sequences, these illustrative details are now seen alongside clips of the characters “in a punchy, modern title sequence that introduces the viewer to the core cast.” Within this, the details of the show and cast are communicated via Swiss Typefaces’ sans serif Suisse International Semi Bold, “echoing the type found on emergency vehicles.” Creating a design library for the show’s creators to work with, other thoughtful design details include the way the Bloods’ logo is flipped when going into a commercial break, referencing the way ambulance is spelled backwards on the front of vehicles. When the show returns, the logo then switches to the correct way round.
Digging out these design details such as vehicle liveries is “a bit of a dream job for designers,” adds Jody. “Although we weren’t designing for anything real, we were playing in that world which was a lot of fun; the subject matter is so rich. “These small details hopefully come together to give the show a visual voice, rather than our work just feeling like the title graphics.”
GalleryPentagram: Hudson-Powell, Bloods (Copyright © Pentagram, 2021)
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.