BBC Television Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981)

Concept and creative process

Opening titles for one of the BBC Television Shakespeare canon of 37 plays which ran for seven seasons from 1978 to 1985. Cedric Massina originated the project and produced Seasons 1 and 2. The following two seasons were produced by Jonathan Miller, and the final three by Shaun Sutton. Alan Jeapes designed a generic style of typography for the titles which was used on all of the productions, demonstrated by this example of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream’ and further examples in the artefacts below. The typographic ornaments were foil printed in red and the individual credits in black on handmade paper. The captions were shot in close-up, column by column, on a video rostrum camera using the movement of the animation table to create the vertical roll. The portrait of Shakespeare was taken from the First Folio edition of his plays. The system Jeapes designed made it simple, over the seven year span of the project, for the titles to be made from these common components, which could be stored digitally for re-use and only required new cast lists and play titles to be printed as required for each subsequent play in the canon.

BBC Television Shakespeare - Generic typographic design