The Power of Bass

Back in 2001, I wrote a dissertation on the semiotics of opening title sequences and Saul Bass featured heavily (especially the infamous title sequence from Psycho). He was truly one of the greatest influencers of design and film-making in the 20th Century, responsible for some of the most iconic brands including Bell, Kleenex and AT&T. He produced a diverse and powerful body of work full of evocative images of intense clarity and subtle ambiguities.

He is best known for his iconic film posters, and more than 50 title sequences for Hollywood films, each featuring an image or symbol that served as a metaphor for the film itself. His visual style influenced many designers and visual storytellers including R/Greenberg Associates and Imaginary Forces (who we featured a few weeks ago in our blog for their work on Stranger Things).

In a new large-format book Saul Bass: 20 iconic film posters, Pat Kirkham and the designer’s daughter Jennifer Bass explore his lasting influence on film poster design. Check out a selection of these posters below:

I think it's safe to say his visual metaphors and graphic styling are still as iconic today as they were 50 years ago. I can't wait to add this book to my collection!

Saul Bass: 20 iconic film posters by Pat Kirkham & Jennifer Bass is published by Laurence King on 5 September.