Saul Bass was undoubtedly the master of suspenseful title sequence, he created one of the greatest title sequences and this is clearly seen in Vertigo. The fonts used in the title design include Clarendon and Trade Gothic.
From the shifting eyes, to the melodramatic music and the swooping typography, culminating in the shifting, spiraling shapes and patterns twisting in and out of Novak’s pupil gives a sense of unease.
The animated spirals of Saul Bass’s title designs create an effect of dizziness and audience participation at the very start.
The title sequence sets the tone for the film not only visually but also audibly preparing the audience for what is to come
Hermann delivered a piece for Vertigo, which rises and falls, it gives the audience an unease that goes with the film, along with the visuals.
The title sequence contains all the elements of the film, beginning with an intimate close-up of a woman’s mouth, gradually panning over her eyes and zooming over a single eye, the face then turns red and the title emerges from the eye of the woman. The music rises and falls, a series of geometric and spiraling shapes come and go, as the music continues to rise and fall. The camera gradually pans out and the audience views the eye once more and the music paces, we see ‘Directed by Alfred Hitchcock” and the film begins.
The sequence was designed gradually beginning on Novak’s face, focusing on her eye and then featuring a series of swirls, with swirls becoming more appropriate as the film proceeds.
Vertigo’s title sequence is one big beautiful mystery which leaves the audience to wander why such disturbing and twisted thoughts occur in our brain and show us how these thoughts come to be visualized in spirals, intimate close ups and stunning visuals.