Saul Bass

Biography

Saul Bass was born May 8th, 1920, New York in the States of America to Eastern European Jewish parents. He graduated from James Monroe High School and studied part time at the Art Students League until he started to attend night classes at Brooklyn College.

His work in Hollywood began in the 1940s designing posters for films including ‘Champion’, ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Moon is Blue’. Bass impressed Preminger in his film, ‘Carmen Jones’ which he made the poster for so much that the filmmaker also asked him to produce a title sequence for him. This was when Bass realized that he could enhance the experience of film on the audience in the opening moments.

Movement

Saul Bass was the pioneer of the graphic design movement, raising awareness of it and making it a prominent area of interest to the wider population who derived inspiration from the entrepreneur’s products; he had his own innovative way of making his work achieve its unique characteristics from uncharted processes, and this made it so his work was a recognisable landmark to viewers and designers. Given how taken people were by his work it’s clear why he was an influential figure to the comings of graphic design’s place in contemporary design.

Characteristics of Their Work

Some of the features that differentiate Saul Bass’ work and made it iconic were the thought provoking, minimalist designs in the paper cut-outs with a vibrant, but limited colour palette which gave it Bass’ distinctive look. This made it easy to scrutinize and then deconstruct the material to find ties between his work and the place he applied it, this often captured the audience’s attention and made them think a little harder on what they were looking at to find the sense in it which was a fine way to get them immersed and engaging the media they were consuming, especially considering that Bass had a passion for veiling messages in a visual style to elicit a specific mood with his intentions set on establishing an emotional resonance to the film before it even began. This is among the most used descriptions of his work- its evocative nature.

Style of Animation

Saul Bass used paper cut-outs for his motion graphic designs to make title sequences for feature films. It seems that Bass’ preferred style of animation was to take his graphics and move them through a simple background while simultaneously introducing the credits. There wasn’t information on how he put it together.

Other Animators in the same Discipline

Maurice Binder

Stan Brakhage

Kyle Cooper

Pablo Ferro

Oskar Fischinger

Martin Lambie-Nairn

Len Lye

Norman McLaren

MK12

Events of the time

The American Boom of the 1920s.

The Cold War from 1947 – 1991.

For the first time people landed on the moon in 1969… so we’ve been told.

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