An independent archive of typography.
to participate.

Topics

Formats

Typefaces

Pulp Fiction (1994) titles

Contributed by Mike Blystone on Mar 19th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.
    Source: https://rajasen.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

    Outrageously violent, time-twisting, and in love with language, Pulp Fiction was widely considered the most influential American movie of the 1990s. Director and co-screenwriter Quentin Tarantino synthesized such seemingly disparate traditions as the syncopated language of David Mamet; the serious violence of American gangster movies, crime movies, and films noirs mixed up with the wacky violence of cartoons, video games, and Japanese animation(…) — allmovie.com

    In Pulp Fiction, Tarantino and co-scriptwriter Roger Avary split multiple story lines and rearrange them out of chronological order, using gangster Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) to connect the separate parts and characters.

    The opening scene and titles bring together many of the movie’s characteristics: casual conversations, violence and references to the 1950s to 1970s. Two idlers discuss the business opportunities of a robbery in an all-american diner, give each other a kiss and pull their guns. He shouts that this is a robbery, she shouts: “Any of you fucking pricks move, and I’ll execute every motherfuckin’ last one of you!”. The movie freezes and Dick Dale’s 1963 surf hit “Misirlou” kicks in while the title sequence starts rolling with two titles set in ITC Busorama (1970).

    Unlike the film scenes, which jump back and forth through time, the title sequences are slow, symmetric and static. While the film logo set in Aachen (1969) becomes smaller and smaller at the slowest possible pace, it is covered by names of actors, producers etc. set in ITC Benguiat (1977) with enlarged and lowered initial caps. Halfway through the titles, someone seems to be looking for new music on the radio, bored with Dick Dale who is replaced with Kool & the Gang’s pounding disco funk: “Jungle Boogie” (1973).

    During the film new storylines are introduced with simple intertitles: a black screen shows center-aligned all-caps text using ITC Bookman.

    The end credits follow the classic model: a long row of text scrolls upwards, again using Bookman. Like all typography in Pulp Fiction, the end titles show a penchant for meticulously executed quirkiness. The type is compressed just enough to evoke the right kind of nostalgic amateurism. Things like the (faux) small cap A in “LaMarr” show an attention for typographic detail.

    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Tom Carnase’s ITC Busorama, with several of the original alternates for S, T, and, most notably, A.

    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Colin Brignall’s Aachen Bold for “Pulp Fiction”, ITC Benguiat for the names.

    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.
    Source: https://a2mcgarryf.wordpress.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Intertitle card, partially underlined: “Vincent Vega & Marsellus Wallace’s Wife”

    The movie opens with text set in Times New Roman, quoting two definitions of “pulp” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Ed Benguiat’s ITC Bookman, slightly condensed, with its default swashy Q.

    2 Comments on “Pulp Fiction (1994) titles”

    1. Koen says:
      Mar 20th, 2019  10:37 am

      The Movie Title Stills Collection has more images

      annyas.com/screenshots/upda…

      The font used in the end credits is Cushing.

    2. Mar 20th, 2019  3:08 pm

      Thanks for the link, Koen! The Movie Title Stills Collection indeed is a splendid resource. Their font ID is incorrect, though: The end credits are set in (electronically condensed) ITC Bookman. ITC Cushing is a similar typeface of narrower proportions. Identifont’s comparison tool lets you examine the differences. Most notably, ITC Bookman’s Q has a swashy tail, the G has a beard, and the diagonals in K don’t meet at the stem.

    Post a comment