The title cards for The Favourite are incredible.
Designed by Vasilis Marmatakis, they use justified text and inconsistent tracking to mirror the absurdity of the characters.
The film is set in 18th century England and centres around Queen Anne and two of her female companions. Every character, male and female, exhibits a regulated insolence – underneath a thin veneer of civility they’re fierce and cruel. As one character aptly states: “A man’s dignity is the one thing that holds him back from running amuck.”
The typography used throughout the film captures this irreverence and suggests an exacting brutality. The buttoned-up serif font combined with the ordered, yet unpredictable letter spacing is unsettling because it’s both familiar and shocking.
Marmatakis also put care into making sure the titles didn’t feel overly crisp or “digital.” To do this, he printed the titles out and painted around the edges to blur the ink. Once they were dry, he scanned the titles back in. The handmade imperfections are barely visible, but they do feel a little more analog.