Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design

Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design


By (author) Jennifer Bass, By (author) Pat Kirkham, Foreword by Martin Scorsese

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  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
  • Format: Hardback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 268mm x 296mm x 44mm | 3,121g
  • Publication date: 2 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1856697525
  • ISBN 13: 9781856697521
  • Illustrations note: 1484 illustrations, 1234 in colour
  • Sales rank: 24,668

Product description

This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American postwar visual culture. Having extended the remit of graphic design to include film titles, he went on to transform the genre. His best-known works include a series of unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta. His wife and collaborator, Elaine, joined the Bass office in the late 1950s. Together they created an impressive series of award-winning short films, including the Oscar-winning Why Man Creates, as well as an equally impressive series of film titles, ranging from Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus in the early 1960s to Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear and Casino in the 1990s. Designed by Saul Bass's daughter Jennifer and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham, who knew Saul Bass, this book contains more than 1,400 illustrations, many from the Bass archive and never published before, providing an in-depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century. This definitive study is eagerly anticipated by design and film enthusiasts.

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Author information

Jennifer Bass is a graphic designer and artist. She has worked at CBS Television in New York and at Sussman/Prejza & Company in Los Angeles. In 1994, she and her husband, Lance Glover, opened their studio, Treehouse Design Partnership in Los Angeles, working in the areas of environmental graphics, identity and book design. Pat Kirkham is Professor in the History of Design, Decorative Arts and Culture at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture, New York. She has written and edited a number of books, including Charles and Ray Eames (1998) and Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000 (2001).

Review quote

..".the first major book on his work....the book paints an engaging picture of Bass as a vigorous, highly disciplined man with a gift for friendship and sense of fun."--The New York Times, and this same review by Alice Rawsthorn also appeared in the INTERNATIONAL HEARLD TRIBUNE.

Table of contents

Introduction Foreword by Martin Scorsese Chapter 1 Early Life of Saul Bass, the son of Russian immigrants, born in New York in 1920, moved to Hollywood in 1946 to work in movie advertising, and the establishment of his own design office in 1952. Chapter 2 Saul Bass as a 'Renaissance' designer. The broad range of his work is described in this chapter, from little known work for movies such as No Way Out (1952) and On The Threshold of Space (1956), record covers (for Frank Sinatra and Elmer Bernstein among others), book covers, book illustration, posters and packaging to the design of playgrounds, a veterinary hospital, public sculpture and exhibitions, as well a wide range of advertising for local California businesses. Chapter 3 This chapterl ooks at advertising, posters and title sequences for more than forty films, including Carmen Jones (1954), Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Bonjour Tristesse (1957), Saint Joan (1957), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), Exodus (1960), Spartacus (1960), West Side Story (1961), Walk on the Wild Side (1962), In Harm's Way (1965), Grand Prix (1966) and The Human Factor (1980). Chapter 4 Covers the short films made by Saul and Elaine Bass between 1962 and 1983,. The films include the Oscar-winning Why Man Creates (1968, made for Kaiser Aluminum) and two Oscar-nominated ones - The Solar Film (1980, Robert Redford, Executive Producer) and Notes on the Popular Arts (1977, made for Warner Communications). This chapter also includes a discussion of Saul Bass's only feature film - the now cult science-fiction flick, Phase IV (1974, Paramount Pictures). Chapter 5 Later work, film titles from 1987 to 1995. Includes Broadcast News (1987), Big and The War of the Roses (1988 and 1989) the Sino-Japanese production Tonko (1988), Mr Saturday Night (1992) and Higher Learning (1995) as well as four for director Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas 1990; Cape Fear 1991; The Age of Innocence 1993, and Casino 1995). Chapter 6 Corporate identity, including work for Lawry Food Company (1959), ALCOA (1961), Continental Airlines (1967), United Airlines (1972) and AT&T (late 1970s to the 1990s). By the early 1990s Saul Bass had more corporate clients in Japan than in the USA and this chapter includes detailed coverage of his commissions in Japan including identity campaigns for major international players such as Minolta and JOMO. Postscript The final chapter includes posters and other work done by Saul Bass for non-profit organizations or causes dear to his heart, as well as other miscellaneous work, and statements made by him on a range of topics from the design process and responsible design, to creativity.