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yU + co Brands HBO's "Rome"

Sensuous Logo Animation Inspired by the Grit and Grandeur that was Rome

yU + co captured the spirit of the Roman Empire as experienced by the people who populated it in designing the title logo for the new HBO series Rome. In addition to creating the logo, the studio prepared an extensive graphics package for the series that included logo animations used in the main title, bumpers and promos. The logo also appears on the series' official website,, in print advertising and in a wide variety of collateral material for the show.

Nearly a year in development, the Rome logo is the product of an extensive research and design effort conducted by yU + co's design team. Artists studied Roman texts, artwork and architecture from throughout the empire's history and applied that knowledge toward the creation of an original typeface. "We wanted the logo to reflect the character of the show," explained yU + co creative director Garson Yu. "Films and television often promote an idealized view of Rome, but that is not what you get from HBO. Rome presents a more complex and realistic view of ancient life. It's dynamic and colorful, but also crude and cruel. The aesthetics of the graphics are shaped by those same values."

The designers drew their inspiration, not from the familiar forms of monumental Roman architecture, but rather from more prosaic sources. "What caught our imagination were the common forms of writing, inscriptions that ordinary Romans might have encountered in public buildings or even in their homes," explained art director Vincent Ruiz-Abogado.

Designers also looked to the every day world for the elements used to animate the logo. The background for the logo reveal employed in the series' promotional campaign is a simple stone wall whose marbling is visible through its faded wash of paint. The reveal itself is accomplished in dramatic fashion with streaks of light etching the letters as if burning them into the surface of the wall.

"We wanted the animation to have an obvious, handmade quality," said yU + co art director Synderela Peng. "It's meant to appear like a wall mural. The color palette is gold toned, but course and gritty."

yU + co's toolset included Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator for design; Adobe AfterEffects and Maya for production.

Credits go to Garson Yu, Creative Director; Lane Jensen, Producer; Synderela Peng, Designer/Art Director; Vince Abogado, Designer/Art Director; Etsuko Uji, Designer/Animator; Hiroshi Endo, Brian Hayes, Martin vonWill and Johnny Wong, 2D Animators; Kamal Hatami, 3D Artist.

yU + co is located at 941 N. Mansfield Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038. For more information, call (323) 606-5050. 


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