Tuesday 28 April 2020

Beautiful concept art for Picard and Discovery title sequences

Artists who worked on the title sequences for Picard, Discovery, and Short Treks have shared some of their concept artwork for all those show's opening credits, giving us a glimpse of ideas that never made it to screen, and early iterations of many that did.

All the current Trek shows have stunning and creative title sequences, all produced by Prologue Films. Many of these concepts take the ideas even further, with some really beautiful abstraction and visualisation of ideas from the shows. I'm especially taken by the creative ways the Borg Cube has been represented in many of these Picard concept sequences.

This first sequence was shared by Filipe Carvalho on his Instagram who describes the theme as "a journey within Jean Luc through his own memories and obstacles." This seems a much more minimalist approach than the final design, and Picard himself a much more prominent element, with his figure, often minute, in many of shots. The overall effect seems even more introspective than the final version, so seems very fitting for the tone of Picard:

This next version of the Picard sequence, also by Carvalho, was shared on his website. You can see this is much closer to the final version, but with some quite different interpretations of some elements, particularly the fractal Borg Cube, and the more organic elements, plus the overall monotone approach in common with the above concept:

Another take on the Picard sequence comes from David Penn, who shared several images on Instagram. While many of the ideas are quite similar to those above, the dramatically shifted colour scheme makes it feel very different. The idea of Picard's introspection seems to come through strongly here again. Like the final sequence, it uses images much more similar to those seen in the series; the fairly accurate Borg Cube, and the Romulan pixmit cards, rather than the more abstracted versions seen above.

Penn also worked on some of the previous title sequences. Here's his concepts for Discovery's titles. He describes the idea for this on his website:
The series' backstory of a covert mission and its ostensible terraforming purpose centres on fungal tendrils known as mycelia. I began to experiment with these organic thread structures, and to explore various analogous forms and structures from the microscopic to macrocosmic in scale.

Penn also worked on the Short Treks titles, using a circle motif to try and bring some sense of unity to the mixed group of films:
The series presents a varied collection of short stories, each taking place in the Star Trek universe. The client sought a neat and concise sequence to pin the diverse narratives together whilst establishing themes of home planet, humanity and the relationship between.

I liked the idea of a sequence that ends where it begins. We would open and close with a simple graphic ring, both as a subtle suggestion of an infinite boundless universe but also as the form that unites the various imagery of the piece (planet, iris, crater, etc.). Perpetual motion expressed by an ever-retreating camera would allow us to transition from human to cosmic scales, and provide a visceral sense of endless exploration. I felt that the seamless sequence might even play through more than once with an accelerating pace.

You can see the final forms of the Picard and Discovery titles on the Prologue Films website, plus the Star Trek Beyond closing titles, which they also produced.

And of course you can check out more work from David Penn and Filipe Carvalho's websites - If you're into title sequence design you'll find some really interesting work from lots of other projects!

For more behind the scenes coverage from all of Trek, see my behind the scenes tag.

And hat-tip to Jon X of the Star Trek Picard: The Unofficial Fan Group, whose posting of one of the above entries lead me to discover the rest!


  1. Art wise its very nice. all kudos to the artists.

    But I hate the intros to both shows. They detract greatly from my enjoyment. Yes Game of Thrones intro was very cool. That every cable show since has felt a need to copy that concept is not cool at all. Stop please. Classic trek intros! And by that I do NOT mean the intro for Enterprise, another utter dog.

  2. Ahhhh...religious schism in Trek fandom.