Saul Bass


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Saul bass was born 1920 and died in 1996, not only was he one of the greatest graphic designers of all time but was a master of title design in film. I recently watched some of the openeing titles to films that were designed by Saul, and i foudn them really inspiring, the use of moving image and even the use of typography to create a certain atmosphere. I then knew this could only be done by a genious of the design world.

Even before Bass made his cinematic debut he was a well accomplished graphic designer, born in the Bronx district of New York, and he was a creative child who never stopped drawing. Bass studied at the Art Students League in New York and Brooklyn under Grorgy Kepes, a Hungarian graphic designer. It is said it was Kepes who introduced Bass to his Bauhaus style.  After apprentiships with New York graphic design firms Bass worked as a freelance graphic designer.  Bass become bound by the constraintes of New York graphic design firms and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946, he opened up his first graphic design firm in 1950 and worked mostly in advertising until Preminger invited him to design the poster for his 1954 film Carmen Jones. Impressed by his design Preminger asked Bass to create the films title design sequence too.

Saul Bass also created movie titles for Mike Todd’s 1956 film Around the World In 80 Days, and a tearful eye for Premingers 1958 film Bonjour Tristesse. Bass then created the title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in 1960, i watched this opening sequence and was very impressed. It starts with the image of a womans eyes slowly becoming an extreme close up and then turning red, followed by swirls of colour and then rotating text. Along with the music this was truly an inspiring peice of work by Saul Bass, also Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho.

I also watched this title sequence and was again very impressed by Saul’s abilities, this man was truly an inspiriation for me and i am very keen to research his work further.


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