In the current world of all television all the time, main title sequences remain an art form all their own. This year, the TV Academy has nominated six of these for outstanding main title design as well as five main title themes for outstanding original main title music.

HBO and its streaming service HBO Max scored the lion’s share of these nominations, landing three out of five of the main title nods with Between the World and Me, Lovecraft Country and Raised by Wolves. HBO and HBO Max grabbed two more nominations for original main titles music with documentary Allen v. Farrow and HBO Max’s thriller/comedy The Flight Attendant.

Agencies represented on this list include regular nominee Elastic as well as King & Country, Studio AKA, Antibody and Perception.

HBO’s Between the World and Me

This nomination marks Santa Monica-based design studio Elastic’s 20th Emmy nomination and Creative Director Hazel Baird’s second, with her other nod coming from Apple TV Plus’ The Morning Show in 2020, on which she worked with fellow creative director Angus Wall.

Elastic also has won Emmys for title designs for HBO’s Game of Thrones in seasons one and eight, as well as for Amazon’s Man in the High Castle in 2016 and, in 2014, HBO’s True Detective, designed by another of this year’s Emmy nominees: Patrick Clair.


Design Studio: Elastic

Creative Director: Hazel Baird

Art Director: Diego Coutinho

Animators: Rafael Morinaga, Eugene Hyun, Andrew Young

Producer: Michael Ross

Coordinator: Mitchell Fraser

Executive Producer: Luke Colson

Deputy Head of Production: Zach Wakefield

Head of Production: Kate Berry

Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall

Original Illustrations by: Molly Crabapple

Music: “Soundtrack to Confusion” by Black Thought and Salaam Remi

Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird

The main titles for Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird, starring Ethan Hawke, sticks with largely a pen-and-ink look in an effective and simple color palette of mustard yellow, brick red and black. The series, based on the best-selling novel by James McBride, tells the story of Henry “Little Onion” Shackleford (look for the reference in this title sequence), who escapes slavery and goes to work for abolitionist John Brown.

It’s all set to very catchy gospel anthem, “Come on Children, Let’s Sing,” by Mahalia Jackson.


Agency: King and Country

Executive Producer: Jerry Torgerson

Creative Director: Efrain Montañez

Art Director: Eduardo Guisandes

Animators: Abigail Fairfax, Josh Lewis, Eduardo Guisandes

Producer: Ryan Lowrie

Title Theme: “Come on Children, Let’s Sing” by Mahalia Jackson

Client: Blumhouse

EP/Creative Director: Padraig McKinley

EP: Olga Hamlet

Producers: Alex Espinoza, Adan Orozco

HBO’s Lovecraft Country

Antibody’s Patrick Clair and his production partner Raoul Marks picked up their 12th and 11th Emmy nominations, respectively, for the ever-changing and relatively simple opening titles for HBO’s Lovecraft Country, with each back panel representing a key moment from that week’s episode.


Client: HBO

Design Studio: Antibody

Creative Director: Patrick Clair

Art Director/Animator/Compositor/Lead 3D Artist: Raoul Marks

Illustrations: Ken Taylor

Series Music by: Laura Karpman, Raphael Saadiq

HBO’s Raised by Wolves

This main title sequence by London-based Studio AKA is as haunting as the show it accompanies, made all the more so by the music written and performed by Mariam Wallentin and Ben Frost.

Raised by Wolves comes from Ridley Scott’s production company and it’s set on a faraway planet where human-like androids are tasked with raising salvaged human children in order to preserve human civilization.


Agency: Studio AKA

Director: Steve Small

Producer: Nikki Kefford-White

Animation/Artworking: Marcus Armitage, Kristian Andrews, Martin Oliver

3D FX Simulation: Kristian Fjellerup Olesen, Rob Chapman

3D Modeling: Raymond Slattery

Compositing: Marcus Armitage, Kristian Andrews, Will Eager

Editor: Nic Gill

Music: Mariam Wallentin, Ben Frost

Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit

The opening credits to Netflix’s chess-focused limited series, The Queen’s Gambit, are as classy and sophisticated as the show itself, with Berlin-based designer Saskia Marka providing the design.


Main Title Design: Saskia Marka

Processed Animations: David Whyte

Main Title Music: Carlos Rafael Rivera

Disney Plus’ WandaVision

Disney Plus’ WandaVision featured main-on-end titles with every episode, with each sequence lovingly crafted to honor the era of sitcom being featured.

Along with the visuals, the music changed each session, with episode one going with a Dick Van Dyke Show feel, episode five headed more toward Full House, episode six borrowing liberally from Malcolm in the Middle’s chaotic ‘90s vibe and finally a sleeker Modern Family sensibility for episode seven.

WandaVision is the only series among the main-title nominees that was nominated both for title sequence and for original music.

Full sequences for episodes 1-3 and 5-7

Perception’s Cut Down


Agency: Perception

Co-Founders: Danny Gonzalez, Jeremy Lasky

Head of Operations: Kris Barone

Senior Producer: Eric Daly

Chief Creative: John LePore

VFX Supervisor: Doug Appleton

Associate Producer: Peyton Goldfarb

Artists: John Koltai, Vlad Lysenco, Alex Rupert, Chris Szeto, David Wave, David Weinstock, Nick Woythaler, Ryan Uhrich

Original Main Title Theme Music

HBO’s Allen v. Farrow

Netflix’s Bridgerton

HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant

Apple TV Plus’ Ted Lasso

Disney Plus’ WandaVision

READ MORE: Art of the Title

Tags: emmys 2021 main title design main titles

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