This fall the actress, musician and all-around entertainer Queen Latifah has launched her own talk show, "The Queen Latifah Show," which recently premiered to strong ratings and good reviews. Pentagram created the identity, opening titles, bumpers and other graphics for the program.
The opening titles of a show set its tone and are especially important for a new series, which quickly needs to give its prospective audience an idea of what to expect. For “The Queen Latifah Show,” the team designed a sequence that instantly conveys Latifah’s friendly, ebullient persona against the sunny backdrop of Los Angeles, where the show is taped.
The “Queen Latifah Show” producers hired Pentagram after seeing the titles for “Saturday Night Live,” specifically 2012-13 season, which used the lights of the New York at night to create the atmosphere of a party you’d want to be at. For “Latifah” the producers wanted to convey a similar feeling for LA—but in the daytime, when the show airs, and with Latifah as the person you’d love to hang out with.
The concept for the title is built around “slices” of light that capture the bright, saturated colors and quality of sunlight in LA in graphic bands that slide across screen, both horizontally and vertically. These are interspersed with scenes of Latifah having fun with friends and fans and interacting with the city around her, reflecting the show's positive, welcoming point of view.
Sleek, modern and contemporary, the show's logo also takes LA as its inspiration. The designers were interested in the ligature formed by the letters “Q,” “L,” and “A,” playing off Latifah’s name and the show’s location. The “Q” of the identity became a dimensional element of the set design by Lenny Kravitz, where it is echoed in the shape of the stage, in the ironwork of ornamental screens and in layered patterns on backdrops.