Creating a brand identity for an unparalleled storyteller’s production company
When Carlton Cuse tells a story, people listen. For nearly 40 years, his genre-blending mix of screenwriting, producing, directing, and showrunning has made him one of Hollywood’s most sought after storytellers. He was instrumental in shaping some of film and television’s most memorable narratives, from Indiana Jones and Lethal Weapon to Lost and Bates Motel—also penning movies like Rampage and San Andreas for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—all while becoming a prolific mentor for countless aspiring showrunners, including Damon Lindelof (with whom he co-helmed Lost) and Vince Gilligan (creator of Breaking Bad).
By 2017, Cuse had already developed threemore shows (The Strain, Colony, and Jack Ryan) when ABC Studios approached him with a groundbreaking offer: a virtually unprecedented eight-figure, multi-year, multi-platform overall deal to bring the showrunner’s best stories to life. In one stroke, Cuse’s new production company, Genre Arts, was born. As production got underway, he reached out to GDP with a request to create something unique. Cuse wanted a brand identity that celebrated the roots of all the fantasy, horror, and sci-fi he was about to bring to the screen.
More than anything, Cuse wanted a design that evoked his love for genre storytelling. Hollywood was already buzzing about him bringing on Lindsey Springer, the former head of TV development for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV, to lead as president. At this early stage, he wanted to ensure that everything about Genre Arts captured both the fun and passion that goes into good stories.
We started by delving deep into the world of genre storytelling across all types of media, including surfacing and deconstructing hundreds of serial sci-fi publications and comics. We looked at the pulpy typefaces and motifs of countless classic horror and fantasy movies. We even revisited some of Cuse’s favorite movies and the serial radio dramas that inspired his early work. Though it took a lot of exploration, we eventually landed on something truly cinematic.
We created a logomark and monogram with three dynamic Rs that reference the company’s three genres: fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Much like a good story, you can’t see all of the dimensions at once; they have to be spooled over time and viewed from the right perspective. Playing with the slight angles and hidden shadows in the typography let us impart a little mystery and intrigue. The elements hypnotically flow like a film strip when in motion, resulting in a design that invites the viewers to discover new elements with each viewing.
Locke & Key, one of the first series from Genre Arts and yet another successful genre mashup for Cuse, ran for three seasons on Netflix.
Our mark establishes Genre Arts as a unique brand full of unforgettable stories. You can see it in action in the Netflix series Locke & Key and the Amazon Studios spy thriller Jack Ryan.