“Design is thinking made visual.” Saul Bass
Born in 1920, Saul Bass was to become a Graphic Designer, Title Designer and Film Director, whose career would span 40 years.
Known best for designing film posters and motion picture title sequences, back in the day, he worked with many of the industry’s greatest film makers including Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese.
Considered to be his breakthrough into the film industry, was Bass’s creation of the title sequence for The man with the Golden Arm in 1955. Bass chose to depict the films story by using an animated white on black cut out arm of a heroin addict.This visually described the film very well, as the plot was based around a jazz musicians battle with heroin. This was a very controversial subject back in the 50’s and the graphic representation Bass used caused quite a sensation; popularising him as a designer within the film industry.
Bass invented a new type of kinetic typography, which first appeared in Hitchcock’s Vertigo in 1958. Prior to his creation of kinetic type in the early 1950’s titles were generally static, separate from the movie and typically projected onto the cinema curtains.
Apart from his work in the film industry, Bass also being a Graphic Designer, created many famous logos for national and international renown companies including Bell Telephone, Continental Airlines, United Airlines US Postage and of course Kleenex.
After his death in 1996, his New York Times obituary hailed him as “the minimalist auteur who put a jagged arm in motion in 1955 and created an entire film genre…and elevated it into an art.”