Not too many movie poster fans mix up the rich tapestries of Italian artist, Anselmo Ballester (left), with the minimalist master, Saul Bass (right) — but here’s a strange similarity (although to be fair, the one-sheet for Phase IV, Saul Bass’s one and only feature directing credit, wasn’t done by the great Bass himself)…(Eatbrie)
If art is truly timeless, then compare and contrast these two Saul & Elaine Bass title sequences, completed over thirty years apart…
Although Saul Bass is typically viewed as modern design’s urban sophisticate with his simple, savvy titles, he wasn’t afraid to put on his cowboy hat when he had to…
Okay, I’ve finally gotten through the 415-page blockbuster book, Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design by Pat Kirkham and Jennifer Bass (Saul’s daughter) — and my eyeballs hurt. Wow, what a visual feast! Part biography, part loving tribute, this tomé features over 1,400 illustrations, spanning Bass’s iconic career in movies and corporate identity/commercial logos. It’s almost unthinkable what the 1950′s-1970′s would’ve looked like without Bass’s clean, colorful logos decorating everything from cereal boxes to 747′s.
Although the career highlights of Mr. Bass have been well-documented in Art of the Title and Movie Titles, this publication uncovers many lesser-known tidbits about the modern master, including how his Walk on the Wild Side titles influenced a young Stevie Spielberg to do an 8mm film with his diva dog, Thunder, as well as Bass’s work on such late 1980′s pictures as Broadcast News, Big, and Mr. Saturday Night.
The book also clarifies the vitally important contributions of Saul’s accomplished wife, Elaine. Much like the Eames’s close-knit relationship, Elaine Bass took over production on the title sequence for Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960) and their cool collaborations continued on with Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, and Martin Scorsese (their Casino titles no doubt inspired the Mad Men intro), all the way up to Saul Bass’s death in 1996.
Movie poster trends come and go, but there is no doubt that the hottest new kid on the block is Mondo, the mates behind the Alamo Drafthouse, who have rejuvenated the morbid market with their revamped one-sheets designs for The Rolling Roadshow Tour from such graphic design prodigys as Olly Moss and Jason Munn.
So if you want to learn more about this newfangled limited-edition movie poster empire, check out Ben Marks’s interview with Mondo creative director, Justin Ishmael, on Collectors Weekly.
In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday weekend, I thought I’d take this Good Friday to celebrate the works of legendary 1960s and 70s stop-motion/animation studio, Rankin-Bass.
No relation to design icon, Saul Bass (although I could swear the RB logo is done in his trademark style), Rankin-Bass produced a basket full of memorable holiday kidsy classics, including Here Comes Peter Cottontail…
The article basically touts the work of Christian Annyas, a Dutch graphic designer, who has cleverly documented how modern DVD covers have eliminated the precious past movie posters of Saul Bass since the studios assume most potential customers don’t have the time or interest to reflect on the artwork of the original poster (which is illustrated below in these beloved Bass before and awful non-Bass after shots).