TASK: Explore who Saul Bass is and find out byresearching how Bass’s work has influenced the film industry? By Thomas Madden
Saul Bass, is a man known for revitalizing the film industry through the film posters and motion picture title sequences. Basss work has produced some of the most iconic opening title scenes that meant that it made a ‘’new’’ industry mainly because before Bass’s work this industry was just in black and white and just showed the names scrolling but, bass introduced colour and movement possibly the real start of enigmas towards the industry. Within Bass’s career he has worked with some of the most famous and greatest filmmakers including: Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Most of these famous Hollywood people Bass worked with was the reason for his 40-years of successfully making these opening title sequences. Saul Bass was known widely for his opening title sequence that he created for Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘’vertigo’’ (1958) which was an illusion of swirls creating this sense of movement via stock motion images and this then, gave this revolutionary stylistic effect to this opening title sequence which made it a new way of watching the film.
Saul Bass made his work using recognisable primary shapes and then introducing colour. Bass evidently used a lot of shapes such as: rectangles, triangles and squares. This gave the effect of a quite sophisticated and clean cut look as it made it look rather like a puzzle that fit together. This arguably had an impact upon the typography in which Bass used as it was also rather clean but, precisely picked to the genre and the message in which the film was actually trying to show. Using these shapes gave the impression of a new way of looking at opening title sequnces as it showe dhow the simplistic effect could meanand connote so much.
This film poster created by Saul Bass introduced the colour of orange to the film which worked really well. The shaping of everything is clean precise and therefore, was a good advertising piece to get people to go and watch the film. The poster was in a way an indicator of the narrative without what happens nowadays with putting the protagonist of the film on the cover. The poster indicates in a way that the film is about a man that is about to follow someone- indicated through the shadow behind this negative space person. The fact that this is in a whirl and the shadow is following the person could represent that the chase to follow is never-ending and the individual in the film getting followed is going to be found and upheaval is to occur. This poster set up a lot of enigmas as, it is hard to make out what is occurring which brings out this reason for people to go and watch it.
Arguably, Bass has many trademarks including this image which shows these posters that he has made for films. It can be considered that Bass uses the same colours as a trademark to the genre that he works with. The colours that he uses are rather angered and connote danger. Using colours such as red orange and black make it very recognisable to what posters that he has made. It can be argued that his intelligence in graphic design shows and is represented through the typography as it has this same approach in many being black font and incorporating the simplistic shapes of rectangles.
Bass, is not only known for creating opening title sequences and posters but, is also known for the product deigning of logos for famous brands such as Kleenex and the bell phoning service. This also indicates Bass’s skills through typography and the representation of products. This just proves that Bass’s skills still evidently live after his death and have had a massive effect within media and film.