Alright on to the Summarised Designer!
In this post I'm looking at an older more widely recognised designer, I remembered the name Saul Bass being fairly high on the list of my tutors and lecturers whenever they brought up designers. Once I looked him up I recognised all those distinctive title sequences, in particular the ones for 'The Man with the Golden Arm' and 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' stood out in my mind. So this week we'll be looking at some of Saul Bass's work.
I've also continued to work on the logo design job for the friend, it has progressed further and I'm pleased with how it looks in the context of a business card. I can't wait to show off my work. :)
Name: Saul Bass
DOB/DOD: May 8 1920 - New York April 26 1996 - Los Angeles
Geography: Worked primarily out of Los Angeles
Saul Bass was reportedly creative from a young age, later he went on to study at the 'Art Students League' in New York and Brooklyn College where he was introduced to the Bauhaus style and Russian Constructivism (An art movement typified by bold stark designs that stem from a philosophy that is against autonomous art and leans towards one that emphasises art for society.) by a former colleague of Laszlo Maholy-Nagi.
After graduation he went on to apprentice to a design firm in New York and then to work as a freelance graphic designer, eventually moving to Los Angeles where he felt he would be less creatively restricted. Bass opened his own studio in 1950 and worked mostly in advertising until he was offered the opportunity to design the movie poster for the 1954 movie 'Carmen Jones', this was positively received by the film's director Otto Preminger who then asked him to design the title sequence as well. Bass would go on to create the title sequences for a number of movies including West Side Story, Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Vertigo (1958) and Ocean's 11 (1960). This led to the creation of notable title sequences such as the opening to The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' with Bass also contributing to the infamous Shower Scene.
Bass would later go onto fulfil a dream of directing a feature length film, 'Phase IV' (1974) though this was met with limited success. After this Saul returned to commercial graphic design which led to the creation of corporate logos for brands including United Airlines, Bell Telephone Stytems, AT&T, Girl Scouts and Quaker Oats as well as a number of Japanese brands. He was eventually persuaded to come back to title sequence design by creating one for Broadcast news and then went on to collaborate with Martin Scorsese in 1991 on the title sequence for 'Goodfellas' and later 'The Age of Innocence' and 'Casino' (1995).
Saul Bass died in 1996 of non Hodgkins lymphoma having radically changed not only title sequence design but the whole of graphic design with his distinctive 'jagged cut-out look' and bold colouring schemes. His influence can be seen in the closing sequence of a movie like 'The Incredibles' and the opening sequence of the T.V. Drama 'MadMen' which invoked the style and in the case of 'MadMen' specific imagery from Bass's iconic title sequences.
Examples of Work: