“Professional wrestling is an art form. It is the art of physical storytelling.”
So says Al Snow—and Snow would know. Snow is a legendary former WWE wrestler and the central figure in the Netflix doc series “Wrestlers” from creator Greg Whiteley. Pentagram, who previously collaborated with Whiteley’s production company on the Emmy award-winning series “Cheer” and “Last Chance U,” has designed the show’s logo and graphics package, including seven opening title treatments, lower thirds, credits, interstitial graphics and character title cards.
“Wrestlers” follows the dramatic story of Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), an iconic wrestling gym that boasts names like John Cena, Dave Bautista, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and CM Punk among its alumni. When the gym falls into financial trouble, Snow—the owner, manager, and heart and soul of OVW—is forced to take on business partners who insist the gym has one summer to turn things around or close its doors for good.
While egos clash over OVW’s fate, the show puts a spotlight on the personal stories of the wrestlers who choose this life, at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. With every storyline, the passion of the people who populate this world—participants and fans alike— shines through.
The main title design reflects the bulk and power of this gloriously muscle-bound enterprise. The letters grow together and crowd each other, reflecting the elbowing for position happening both on and off the mat. Each of the seven title treatments reflects the visual motif of that particular episode’s opening scene.
The designers really let loose for the character title cards which introduce the larger-than-life personalities. These characters come in two varieties: “Babyfaces,” who play the hero in the storyline, and “Heels,” who play the villain. In a sport where there’s no such thing as too much, the title card designs flex hard to live up to their namesakes.
For the supporting graphic elements like lower thirds, the typesetting is irregular and a little “banged up” to suggest wrestlers who have taken their bumps.
Across seven episodes, the often-misunderstood world of pro wrestling gets a thoughtful, intimate, and raucously entertaining showcase.