April 25, 2012

Saul Bass (1920-1996)

Sixteen years ago today, legendary movie title sequence designer Saul Bass passed away. In memory of this prolific artist, here's an overview of his entire body of work.

Saul Bass title sequence Carmen Jones 1954

“I began as a graphic designer and as part of my work I created
many film symbols for ad campaigns. During that period I happened to be working on the symbols for ‘Carmen Jones’ and ‘The man with the golden arm’ for Otto Preminger. At one point in our work Otto and I just looked at
each other and said: “why not make it move?” It was really as simple as that.”
— SAUL BASS – “Bass on titles,” 1977

The big knife 1955 title sequence

Saul Bass The man with the golden arm 1955 title sequence

“‘The man with the golden arm’ woke everybody up and said: “This is what the potential is for main titles. You thought this was just a throw-away kind of thing where we just put the type up and noone really designs it.”
And Saul Bass said:“Hey, wait a minute designers, directors, here’s an opportunity for us, to take advantage of this real estate at the beginning of a movie and use it to help tell the story or just use it to make something real interesting or beautiful,” and everybody woke up.”
— KYLE COOPER, designer of the Se7en title sequence,
in the documentary “Saul Bass, title champ,” 2008

Trapeze 1956 title sequence

Storm center 1956 title sequence

Attack 1956 title sequence

1 comment:

jeffkunze said...

What a great collection!
North by Northwest is one of my favorite movies! I didn't know that Saul did a lot of these other sequences! The Casino title sequence might be my favorite but I'll have to check out some of these other movies.