Saul Bass, The Screenwriter of Design Essay

Saul Bass, The Screenwriter of Design Essay

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In the 1940s, much was changing in the world due to the effects of World War II, specifically in the parts of Europe. Suffused with dictators and totalitarian governments the artists of the era wanted to escape the environment and embark upon a new journey and a fresh start. America during that time was a capitalist with a culturally and ethnically rich background in music, films and fashion. This was the best opportunity for the artists to visit America. Thus a group of artists with their modernistic approach, went to New York City and started a new wave known as the “The New York School”. To come up with originality, the American designers inspired by the European Avante Grante/Modernistic art, added new techniques and concepts which created a complete new direction in art and design that shifted the world’s attention.

Many pioneers of the movement such as Paul Rand, Bradbury Thompson and Alex Steinwelss came up with designs that were much appreciated and attracted people and students of design. One of the students was Saul Bass (1920 - 1996). Born in New York, Bass developed an interest in design and illustrations. Studying at the Arts Student League and under Gyorgy Kepes of Brooklyn College, Bass mastered the theory of Russian Constructivism and Bauhaus Design. Though he started his work in New York it was later in Los Angeles where his career flourished. In California he was recognized by the Director Otto Preminger who hired Bass to design the poster for his movie called “Carmen Jones”. Otto Preminger was so impressed by Bass that he asked him to make the title sequence for the movie. Though Bass was mostly known for his title sequences for movies and logos of corporate companies, it was his movie posters that impacted...


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...distracted. The type used is simple, however the slashing of the type adds more tension and symbolizes with the violent theme of the movie and also with the famous shower scene in the movie. The style of the title sequence is quite panicky and it adds a lot of tension while watching it.

In vast career of design, Saul Bass has managed to revolutionize the design world with his originality and strong background in design. He has created legendary logos such as AT&T, United Airlines, Quaker Oats, Time Warner, Kleenex etc and has worked for directors such as Martin Scorsese. He even created short films with his wife. If it weren’t for Saul Bass the design of today’s world would have been much different. Saul Bass keeps influencing young designers such as Olly Moss and hopefully his legacy will remain untouched and he will influence many more designers in the future.

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