Kilter Films

In their storytelling, Kilter Films, the production company behind HBO’s Westworld, pushes, blends, and bends the boundary between art and technology. A meaningful visual identity would offer a firsthand experience of the new hybrid worlds they build. 

The graphic tool kit should combine art and technology, analog and digital, human and mechanical to deliver a memorable audience experience. With its mechanical performances of complex musical pieces, the Player Piano delivers exactly that sort of experience. 

To bring it into and beyond present day, we compared the process of player piano transcription to digitally recording music. The narrow place where they overlap gave us the guiding logic for the Kilter identity system.

Starting with Ramin Djawadi’s Westworld theme song in the form of a player piano scroll created by Timothy Baxter at Meliora Music Roll, we took a cue from the digital process for storing music, and layered the player marks atop one another until the entire song was visible on one sheet. From there we picked out the Kilter Films letterforms and refined them to the outermost boundary of legibility.

The overall design conceit is branding as digitized player piano music.