Anatomy of a Designer April 25 2016

Anatomy of a Murder

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the death of Saul Bass, the undisputed maestro of film title and poster design. With a career that spanned some 50 years, Bass’ enduring style continues to resonate as strongly today as it ever did. 

Bass is said to have started his foray into film poster design in 1954 with contributions to the design for Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones. Shortly afterwards, Bass was to collaborate again with Preminger and took the film industry design world by storm with his first fully credited title sequence and poster designs for The Man with the Golden Arm

With each new design he worked on, he never failed to deliver something striking and refreshingly unique, but always unmistakably Bass. Uncompromisingly contemporary graphic designs against bold swathes of colour and a talent for hand-produced typography often taking up as much real estate as the other design elements. This all contributed to an edginess and quality, that has since been often imitated but never surpassed.

Unsurprisingly the posters deigned by Bass are highly collectable and make for sound investments. At the top end, Vertigo, and, in our opinion the better-value-for-money, Anatomy of a Murder are highly coveted and have price tags to match. However there are many other still affordable Bass titles available.