Saul Bass – A Tribute

UPDATED 2020: 

Saul Bass turns 100, check out this cool video compilation of some of his most prolific title sequences:

Many people like to throw the word “Innovation” around with ease nowadays, referring to anything from literature to electronics. I believe that when innovation truly hits you, you won’t know, because it will feel so organic. And that’s the true essence of design.

Okay, enough philosophy on my part. Being an avid film lover and aspiring filmmaker myself, I’ve always appreciated what Bass’ work has added to all the many films he has contributed to.

Today’s Google Doodle honours the prolific graphic designer, known for his amazing works on various film posters and title sequences.

That catchy tune that accompanies the Doodle is entitled Unsquare Dance, and was composed by legendary American Jazz musician Dave Brubeck in 1961. You can read more about the actual Doodle from creator Matthew Cruickshank here.

I’ve experienced and made a fair share of sequence-type content for films, promos etc., but until seeing Bass’ work I never fully grasped the effect that it has on cementing the perception of a film in the audiences’ minds, even before they watch it.

The Posters Bass designed for Psycho, The Shining and West Side Story.
The Posters Bass designed for Psycho, The Shining and West Side Story.

Often a poster, and definitely a title sequence (aside from trailers) is the first glance that any audience gets of a film- which brings me to the shit-your-pants realization that film graphic designers are probably judged internally (by directors, studios etc) and externally (by audiences) in an extremely detailed manner. This makes me respect the job and a legend like Saul Bass even more.

Happy Birthday, Saul Bass.

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Editor-in-Chief at BTG Lifestyle. For cinema.