In March of 2015, we published our first feature article in celebration of International Women’s Day entitled 10 Women of Title Design. Every year since, we've returned with a new group of 10 women in the title design industry to celebrate. This year we are ecstatic to present part five, bringing the number of women showcased to 50!
Here at Art of the Title, our mission is to champion the work of title designers and all those involved in the craft. The 10 Women of Title Design articles are one of the ways we strive towards more balanced representation, a priority that is vital to our mission and to ensure a thriving, diverse industry. This year, the list includes creative directors, lettering artists, animators, motion designers, and 3D artists, spanning several decades and various genres, from TV to film to the festival circuit. Join us as we celebrate another International Women's Day and shine a light on the often unsung women in this great field.
10 Women of Title Design That You Should Know – Part Five
Leanne Shapton is an author, artist and publisher based in New York City.
Her hand lettering has appeared on covers for books, Criterion Collection film releases, and in the title sequences for films The Squid and the Whale (2005), Margot at the Wedding (2007), and Lady Bird (2017). She has created artwork which appeared in the films Hayseed (1997) and Her (2013).
She is the author of books Was She Pretty?, Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry, and Swimming Studies. Shapton is also the co-founder of J&L Books, an imprint specializing in art and photography books. She grew up in Mississauga, Ontario.
Lady Bird (2017)
Heidi Berg is an art director and motion designer based in Los Angeles, California. Berg has worked on title sequences for TV series I Am The Night (2019), The Alienist (2018), The Terror (2018), and Pose (2018), documentary film Studio 54 (2018), and concept art for series Legend of Cambria (2018). In 2018, her work for The Alienist was nominated for an Outstanding Main Title Design Emmy.
Originally from West Jordan, Utah, Berg attended Utah Valley State College where she studied theatre, and Salt Lake Community College, where she studied graphic design. She transferred to The California College of the Arts where she graduated with a BFA. She has worked with companies including Volume Inc., Motion Theory, Logan, Royale, MPC, The Mill, Gentleman Scholar, CAA, Elastic, A52, and others.
I Am The Night (2019)
Kathy Zielinski is an animator, character designer, and animation supervisor based in Los Angeles, California. She is most well known for designing and animating characters such as Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Hexxus in FernGully: The Last Rainforest, and Jafar in Aladdin, among others. She also created the main title sequence for horror-comedy film Night of the Demons (1988).
She began her career at Disney studios in 1981 after graduating from California Institute of the Arts and worked on traditionally animated films The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Rescuers Down Under, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as the CG feature Frozen. After over a decade at Disney Feature Animation, she shifted to Dreamworks Animation Studios where she continued to work on traditional animated films. In 2001, she moved over to 3D computer animation and worked on Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Currently, she is an animator for The Simpsons.
Night of the Demons (1988)
Saskia Marka is a motion and title designer based in Berlin, Germany.
Her notable title design credits include This is Love (2009), Outcast (2010), Deutschland 83 (2015), Deutschland 86 (2018), and Babylon Berlin (2018). Her opening for Babylon Berlin earned the top spot in Art of the Title's list of the Top 10 Title Sequences of 2018.
Originally from Bayreuth in Bavaria, Marka studied communication design at Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design and motion design at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. She has worked with studios including Unexpected GmBH and Lichtrausch.
Deutschland 86 (2018)
Beth Li is an art director, animator, and motion designer based in Los Angeles, California.
Li has worked on title sequences for films including Spy (2015), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015), Insurgent (2015), Ghostbusters (2016), How to Be Single (2016), Hidden Figures (2016), How It Ends (2018), Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), and The Happytime Murders (2018).
Originally from Arcadia, California, Beth has worked as a lead designer, animator, and art director with studios including Plucky, Imaginary Forces, and Brand New Schools. Her work has earned several Bass Awards, a New York Emmy Award, and a Promax BDA Gold Award.
Deborah Ross is a film title designer based in Los Angeles, California. She has designed more than 100 title sequences for film and television, including those for The English Patient (1996), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Any Given Sunday (1999), Cold Mountain (2003), Miracle (2004), Jarhead (2005), Michael Clayton (2007), and many others.
Ross began her career in titles as an assistant for Star Wars designer Dan Perri. In 1982, she started her own design firm, Deborah Ross Graphic and Title Design. In 1986, she joined forces with title designer Nina Saxon to form Saxon/Ross Film Design, a partnership which lasted until 1992. Together, they designed titles for films The Little Mermaid (1989), Rambling Rose (1991), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Stay Tuned (1992), and many more. Ross has taught at Otis College of Art and Design and is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Bhakti Patel is a 3D motion designer, animator, and art director currently based in San Francisco. Her title sequence credits include the Emmy Award-nominated opening for TV series Vinyl (2016), the main-on-end sequence for Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and openings for conferences SXSW 2016 Gaming Awards and OFFF Mexico 2015. She also designed and animated the UI design for Black Panther (2018).
Patel began her career freelancing at Sarofsky Corp. in Chicago, IL, and then moved to New York City to work with studios Imaginary Forces, Perception, Cause+Effect, and others. She has spoken at conferences including SIGGRAPH and Half Rez 7.
SXSW Gaming Awards (2016)
Yashoda Parthasarthy is a director, animator, and motion designer based in Mumbai, India.
She has worked on title sequences for films Angry Indian Goddesses (2015), Double Barrel (2015), Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), Baar Baar Dekho (2016), OK Jaanu (2017), Richie (2017), Solo (2017), and Netflix series Sacred Games (2018).
Born in Chennai, Parthasarthy has a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology and a diploma in 3D animation filmmaking. She began her career as a junior editor and motion graphics artist at Qyuki Digital Media. A couple of years later, she joined motion design studio Plexus, working on commercial, film, and music video projects. In 2018, the main-on-end title sequence for Solo was nominated for a SXSW Excellence in Title Design Award. Currently, she is Creative Director at Plexus.
Sacred Games (2018)
Kelli Miller is a motion designer as well as executive creative director and co-founder of studio And/Or in Brooklyn, New York. Miller has designed the title sequences for films Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015), Certain Women (2016), A Woman, a Part (2016), and Goodnight Brooklyn — The Story of Death by Audio (2016), as well as TV series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014), Lip Sync Battle (2015), and The Comedy Lineup (2018).
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Miller has a BFA in graphic and interactive design from The College for Creative Studies and an MFA in 2D design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has worked with studios including Trollback + Co., Thronberg & Forester, Gretel, LoyalKaspar, Juniper Jones, and MTV.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014)
Mara Smalley Midura
Mara Smalley Midura is an art director, motion designer, and illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. In title design, she has created openings for The Leftovers (Seasons 2 and 3), Outcast (2016), Marvel’s The Runaways (2017), and Fox’s Phenoms (2018). Her work has been nominated for SXSW Excellence in Title Design Awards for season two of The Leftovers and for Fox’s Phenoms.
Smalley Midura has a BFA in Visual Communications from University of Delaware nad has worked with studios including Eyeball, Elastic, Imaginary Forces, Psyop, and many others. She has worked on advertising and marketing campaigns for brands such as Nike, Google, and ATT. She’s also designed graphics for networks such as HBO, CBS, and Netflix.
To discover more fantastic title designers who happen to be women, take a look through our directory of designers. And if you know of any whose work we haven't yet featured on the site, let us know. We're dying to discover more exciting work and to keep these important conversations moving.
Check out the earlier articles:
10 Women of Title Design
10 More Women of Title Design
10 Women of Title Design — Part Three
10 Women of Title Design — Part Four
View the credits for this sequence
Support for Art of the Title comes from
CINEMA 4D BY MAXON
Maxon's Cinema 4D Features an Unmatched Live 3D Pipeline with Adobe After Effects CC.