Genre ArtsCreating a brand identity for an iconic storyteller’s production company

When Carlton Cuse tells a story, people listen. For nearly 40 years his genre-blending mix of screenwriting, producing, directing, and showrunning has made him one of Hollywood’s most sought after storytellers. He’s been instrumental in shaping some of film and television’s most memorable narratives, from Indiana Jones and Lethal Weapon to Lost and Bates Motel, while also penning movies like Rampage and San Andreas for The Rock, all while also becoming a prolific mentor for countless aspiring showrunners, including Damon Lindelof (who he co-healmed Lost with) and Vince Gilligan (of Breaking Bad fame).

Cuse got his start in TV writing for Micheal Mann’s hardboiled police drama Crime Story (1986). He went on to co-create the critically-acclaimed The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (1993) for Fox and created Nash Bridges for CBS (1996). Genre Arts brings him back to ABC a decade after co-showrunning Lost (2004).

By 2017, Cuse had already developed three more shows (The Strain, Colony, and Jack Ryan) when ABC Studios approached with a groundbreaking offer: a virtually unprecedented eight-figure, multi-year, multi-platform, overall deal for bringing the showrunner’s best stories to life. In one stroke, Cuse’s new production company “Genre Arts” was born. As production got underway, he reached out to GDP to create something unique. Cuse wanted a brand identity that celebrated the roots of all the fantasy, horror, and sci-fi he was about to bring to the screen.

More than anything, Cuse wanted a design that evoked his love for genre storytelling. Hollywood was already buzzing about him bringing on Lindsey Springer, the former head of TV development for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV to lead as president. At this early stage, he wanted to ensure that everything about Genre Arts captured both the fun and passion that goes into good stories.

We started by delving deep into the world of genre storytelling across all types of media, including surfacing and deconstructed hundreds of serial sci-fi publications and comics. We looked at the pulpy typefaces and motifs of countless classic horror and fantasy movies. We even revisited some of his favorite movies and the serial radio dramas that inspired his early work. Though it took a lot of exploration, we eventually landed on something truly cinematic.

We created a logo mark and monogram with three dynamic Rs that reference the company’s three genres: fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Much like a good story, you can't see all of the dimensions at once; they have to be spooled over time and viewed from the right perspective. Playing with the slight angles and hidden shadows in the typography let us impart a little mystery and intrigue. The elements hypnotically flow like a film strip when in motion, resulting in a design that invites the viewers to discover new elements with each viewing.

Locke & Key is the newest series from Genre Arts and yet another successful genre mashup for Cuse. Shortly after its premiere, Netflix greenlit the supernatural horror drama for a second season.

Our mark establishes Genre Arts as a unique brand full of unforgettable stories. You can see it in action in the new Netflix series Locke & Key and the Amazon Studios spy thriller Jack Ryan.