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Movie Poster Fun Time with Saul Bass

June 9, 2010

I was looking at movie stuff yesterday, and I noticed this movie poster for Buried, which will be released in October:

I like this a lot. Not only because it’s neat, but also because it reminds me of Saul Bass. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so, because I found a few blogs that mention it also. I just learned about Mr. Bass this past Spring, in Visual Communication class. For those who haven’t been introduced to him, Saul Bass basically rocked the graphic design world. He designed the logos of a huge amount of companies: American Airlines, Girl Scouts, Quaker Oats, United Airlines, Bell South, AT&T, you get the picture. This guy is serious. Not only that, but he revolutionized movie poster design, as well as the opening titles.

Here are a bunch of his poster designs:


So, I’m glad to see that other artists are using him as inspiration. I also found this:

Another inspired by Saul Bass poster.

So, I thought that was neat. I enjoy intriguing movie poster. Anyway, Buried, as a movie, looks pretty interesting. Maybe I’ll see it in the dollar theater in a year or so!



I realized that this is my most popular post, so I thought I would give it a little update. I was driving along one day and saw this:

Familiar, yes? I don’t see Bass’ style in ads so much as I do in design and movies, so this was a surprise. Granted, it’s pretty blatant. But as I mentioned in the beginning of the post, he did a lot of logo design which, like advertising, is all about image building for a client. I don’t know why I didn’t have these in this post originally, but here are some of the logos he designed.

Bass’ talent had such a broad scope. Look at the clean lines of these logos compared to the wildness of the posters. Then again, in both cases he uses simple images, bold colors, and negative and positive space. Is there some kind of fan club I can join?

Just for kicks, here are some title sequences he made, which were pretty revolutionary for the time, in that they were more than just words on the screen:

North by Northwest (I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the film)

Psycho (But I love this one!)

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

And of course, the modern sequences that remind me of Bass’ work:

Catch Me if You Can

Mad Men (This is a very modern take on Bass’ style)

The Incredibles end credits (These were the first end credits I ever took notice of and wanted to watch)

So now that I’ve pretty much written a research paper on this guy…

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Abel permalink
    June 11, 2010 10:33 pm

    I immediately thought of Vertigo, as well as the opening sequence for Mad Men

    Didn’t know he did so many of Hitchcock’s posters, though when all put together it’s hard to miss.

  2. May 7, 2013 7:41 pm

    G’Day Amy,

    I found your blog this morning (our time). On opening my computer, I found a dismembered body with GOOGLE on the different parts. When I clicked on them I was taken to Saul Bass’s Wikipeadia article.

    I realized that this was a man I needed to know more about. I bookmarked the article and after that, I clicked on the images for Saul Bass and that’s how I came to find your blog. If you only have 17 followers you have done very well to rank so high in Australia.

    I was very impressed with what you have done though I do think you need to work on your writing (but then again that might be a generational thing). I did have a hard time deciding between good and excellent. If I had the option I would have gone 4 1/2 stars but as that wasn’t available I didn’t think it was fair, not to go the whole hog if only for the effort you have made.

    At this stage, I hope I am not sounding like one of your lecturers. Take it as a critique from a fellow creative. I am very grateful for the window you have created into the world of Saul Bass. The Opening Sequences you have selected are absolute Masterpieces and I will watch them many times over.

    In another life, I used to run a Multi Media Company and created over one hundred online video clips for restaurants, art galleries, hotels, horse riding schools and other businesses in the travel and recreation industries. It is a field I intend to get back into when I have more time available.

    At the moment, I have spent over eighteen months working on a repertoire of Classic Australian Songs for a three hour show. I probably have another three months of work before I am ready to take it on the road.

    Signs are promising that it should go very well. I will be taking it around Australia and am planning to tour America with it, in April or May of next year.

    I intend to start in New York and travel South along the Coast. I will be traveling through Florida as I am a great fan of Ernest Hemingway and am looking forward to visit his home and museum.

    After that I will travel across to Texas and spend a week in Mexico. From there I will travel along the Pacific Coast ending up in Los Angeles. I will be allowing between six to eight weeks.

    At the moment I am hungry for any information about America, especially anything that may assist me in organizing my tour.

    I do have another vested interest. At the moment I am studying a course online. That should be completed within a week or two. Once that is over, I will be launching a ‘Comedic Character’ I have had on the back burner for too long.

    I have never followed a blog, let alone written one, so I guess I need to learn the ropes.

    My character ‘Kory’ will be a satire on Australian Politics so I am not sure that the humor will translate across to America.

    Kory will have a website, a blog, a facebook page and a twitter account so I will be on a new learning curve.

    Regardless of the above factors, I would still have subscribed to your blog. I am intrigued that you are combining so many creative endevours and if your blog is anything to go by, I am sure you will be very successful.

    Cheers for Now!

    Nikolas Tsatsaronis

  3. May 7, 2013 7:53 pm

    i like him

  4. Seamus permalink
    May 8, 2013 3:14 am

    I don’t think you have to worry about your career if you keep putting stuff together like this.

  5. May 8, 2013 10:02 am

    I thought of the casino royale intro:

  6. Steve P permalink
    May 8, 2013 10:36 am

    Thanks Amy. This was really good. Esp. as Google honored Sam Bass on May 8.

  7. May 8, 2013 12:03 pm

    I LOVE North by Northwest. You know that’s Hitchcock missing the bus at the end of the credits, right? :-)

  8. Cynthia R Hutcherson permalink
    May 8, 2013 10:03 pm

    Another one that reminds me of his work is Monsters Inc.

  9. May 8, 2013 11:22 pm

    I did not Know that, Awesome Dude , Thanks..


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