Children of the Damned

With Halloween looming, thoughts naturally turn to issues of horror and to classic horror films, particularly the creative title design and unique lettering which some of these classics feature in their titles, but even more especially in their preview trailers. YouTube is a great resource for these trailers, including many for films which are themselves very hard to find. Trailers are great design inspiration, because they boil down a film to its most dramatic images and older trailers include extensive descriptive titles in very dramatic styles.

Expectation of trick or treating kids naturally brings to mind the broader topic of creepy children, which leads the mind naturally to the classic film Village of the Damned and its arguably superior sequel Children of the Damned. Some people like the original and others prefer the sequel, but both of these classic British films based on John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos are seminal examples of the “alien kids with psychic powers” sub-genre of Science Fiction.

There’s something uniquely British about these films and the script, acting and directing are all outstanding. Plus one nice development is that a lot of these older films are now available for viewing for free on YouTube, including both Children of the Damned and the original Village of the Damned. You can also watch the John Carpenter remake from 1995 for #2.99 but despite an interesting cast it can’t hold a candle to the originals.

Of course, for our purposes the trailer is more of a resource, and as you can see from the accompanying graphics it includes a lot of examples of an unusual title alphabet design which would be pretty easy to convert into a unique font. The titles from Village of the Damned aren’t that interesting, but those featured in Children of the Damned are really eyecatching with a bold geometric look which typefies the type of high-impact design popular in 1960s shock cinema. I’ve taken stills from the trailer and have added them to the archive of design resources, so don’t be surprised to see a font based on it down the road.

For a look at how we make fonts from sources like movie titles see our article on designing the Captain Kidd font.

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