March 24th marks the 416th anniversary of Elizabeth I of England’s death. Because of this, we thought it would be an opportune time to look back on how we researched and developed the title design for Mary Queen of Scots.

When working on film branding, we believe it’s about studying, leaning in, reading, and truly understanding the subjects of the film. Similar to how actors/actresses have to get into character, our designers have to as well. It’s not just the study of the characters themselves, it’s the study of the language, paleography, art, literature, manuscripts, and architecture. All of these aspects are taken into account when developing title design that is customized and authentic.

The turbulent relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots dominated not only politics for decades in the past, but also has dominated pop culture – currently twenty-one films exist relating to this subject matter. This of course presented another hurdle when developing the title logo as it has to stand apart from previous adaptations.

Much of what we know about Mary comes from her diaries and communications with others in her circles, including her wrathful cousin Elizabeth I. During this time, there were layers of writing, different levels of skill, and official and unofficial documents as well as bulletins and proclamations. We took this documented correspondence and used it to help develop the vision behind our renderings. Fortunately, Mary Stuart was exceptionally well educated. She was passionate about languages, reading, and needlework. We looked at the types of items that would have inspired her to inspire us.

By delving into these women, their history, and their passions, we developed ten identity renderings for Mary, Queen of Scots.