Sons of Anarchy

The opening title sequence for the television series, “Sons of Anarchy”, successfully uses many design elements, including use of sound, lighting, and typography, to portray the overall tone of the show. “This Life” by Curtis Stigers can be heard over the introduction visuals, as a solemn rock song with a western twang, the lyrics revolving around facing the world on your own may be one of the biggest indicators as to what the show may entail. One moment during the sequence, the guitar riff from the song can be lined up with the strumming shown on screen, tying the song into the visuals even more. The use of lighting also adds to the solemn feel, while overall very dark, the tan filter gives an unsaturated look which adds to the western aesthetic. However, there are moments where this filter changes, such as when a shot of the gang riding motorcycles is shown in a highly contrasted black and white, or the overly saturated shots of a gravestone, town sign, and gun, perhaps to purposefully draw attention to these specific visuals in order to give clues to the plot of the show. Typography also plays a large role in the visuals of the opening sequence, often the names of actors starring in the show can be shown as a transition of tattoos morphing into names, possibly referencing the importance of tattoos in the show as a symbol of the “Sons of Anarchy”. However, they can also be seen as transitions from other objects as well, such as a prison cell lock, a bullet shell, and a knife, giving a dark and edgy feel. The typeface used can also be tied back to the western aesthetic, as it uses a font typically associated with western culture and motorcycle gangs. The text often appears a stark white contrast against the black background, moving from one side of the screen to the other. Although in the last shot of the sequence the words and logo appear as a black tattoo in the center of a man’s back, to draw emphasis to the name of the show as well as its creator.