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Saul Bass

(1920—1996)


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Born in New York, graphic designer and art director Saul Bass trained as an animator under Howard Trafton at the Art Student League in New York (1936–9) and the European-influenced designer Gyorgy Kepes at Brooklyn College (1944–5). After moving to Los Angeles in 1946 and introducing sophisticated East Coast graphic solutions to the highly commercial ethos of the West Coast, he founded Saul Bass Associates. He was responsible for a number of logos, including AT&T and Warner Communications, and corporate identity schemes for airlines, including Continental. He first attracted more widespread attention after moving into film, designing the artwork, trailer, and titles for his father-in-law Oscar Preminger's Carmen Jones in 1954. This was followed by work for Preminger's The Man with the Golden Gun (1956), Billy Wilder's Seven Year Itch, and a series of striking collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. These involved the title shots for North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho, for which he was also employed as Pictorial Consultant for the famous shower scene. With his striking credit sequences and animations Bass exerted tremendous influence over film title work, including Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1996) and many others. He also made the US contribution to the 1968 Milan Triennale and was later recognized for his striking poster for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

From A Dictionary of Modern Design in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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