New York 1920 -
Los Angeles 1996
Saul Bass was a great 20th-century American graphic designer, who created the corporate image and memorably stunning logos for numerous American companies. Saul Bass was, first and foremost a pioneering 1950s Hollywood designer, the founder of conceptual cover design, who created the motion picture title sequences and posters for a great many films.
Saul Bass developed a simplified, symbolic design language that visually communicated all the essential elements of a film. Bass designed emblematic posters that made a stunning visual impact, thus revolutionizing animated film graphics and the visuals of film advertizing. Born in the Bronx, Saul Bass was given a scholarship to the Art Students League in 1936. From 1944 until 1946 Saul Bass studied at Brooklyn College.
He worked in New York as a freelance commercial artist for advertizing agencies and companies, including Warner Bros. In 1946 Saul Bass went to Los Angeles, where he continued to work as a commercial artist. By 1952 he had a practice of his own, which was registered from 1955 as Saul Bass & Associates.
In 1954 he received his first commission from the director Otto Preminger to design the title sequence for his film "Carmen Jones". This commission was followed in 1955 by others from Robert Aldrich and the Billy Wilder Film "The Seven Year Itch". That same year Saul Bass designed the title sequence for Preminger's "The Man with the Golden Arm" and it caused a sensation. Saul Bass became the leading title designer in Hollywood; the directors Bass worked in this capacity include Alfred Hitchcock ("Vertigo", "North by Northwest", "Psycho"), from 1960 Stanley Kubrick ("Spartacus", "The Shining"), from 1990 for Martin Scorsese ("Good Fellas", "Cape Fear", "The Age of Innocence", "Casino"); and, in 1993 Steven Spielberg: the title sequence for "Schindler's List".
Between 1991 and 1996 Saul Bass also designed the posters for the Oscar Awards ceremony. In addition to his work for Hollywood, Saul Bass has created the corporate image of numerous companies, including United Airlines, AT&T, Minolta, Esso, BP, and Continental Airlines, for which he also designed the company logos.