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Kyle Cooper’s Beautiful Mess

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At Yale, Paul Rand once told Kyle Cooper that there wasn’t really anything interesting going on in title design. Alvin Eisenman told Cooper that the world needs graphic designers more than it needs filmmakers. It’s a good thing both of those legends told Cooper to focus on design first, film second, or title design wouldn’t be where it is today.

The founder of Imaginary Forces got fired from the GoodFellas titles because he was trying too hard to make them into a metaphor for the movie. Saul Bass ended up getting the gig (tough break, Kyle) and he solved the problem by not creating a metaphor but making the titles into another scene for the movie. And that’s why Cooper’s new company is named Prologue.

“I like to make a mess,” said Cooper as he showed the heart-wrenching titles for Donnie Brasco, the freak show opener for Se7en and super-clever titles for some really bad movies: Wimbledon, Euro-Trip, The Painted Veil, Dawn of the Dead (okay, that one was actually pretty good) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which seemed to bleed Bass, but as Cooper revealed later through examples, was actually inspired by Rand.

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