[Worldkings] Top 50 creative minds in the world (P. 22) Saul Bass (USA): The leading creative legend of the graphic design industry


(Worldkings.org) Saul Bass might be the single most accomplished graphic designer in history. Bass branded a staggering array of major corporations with his iconic, minimal designs.

Bass was born in 1920 in New York City, to Jewish immigrants. A creative child, he drew constantly. For college, he attended night classes at the Art Students League where he had the fortune of studying under György Kepes, a master of the functional Bauhaus aesthetic.


In the 1940s, Bass left New York for California. He worked mostly for advertising until his first major break: a poster for the 1954 film, Carmen Jones. The filmmakers were so impressed by his poster work, they invited him to design the title credits as well. This turned out to be a game changing decision.

Bass stepped up the sophistication of movie posters with his distinctive minimal style and he completely revolutionized the role of title credits in films. Traditionally, credits were static and drab. They were considered so unimportant, they would actually be projected onto the closed curtains which would only open for the first official scene of the movie.

Bass, however, was committed to injecting life into these graphics, making them as much a part of the cinematic experience as anything else. Introducing his signature “kinetic type,” Bass’ letters dashed and moved across the screen and frequently incorporated images other than text.


Bass went on to create dozens of iconic film posters and title credits. His final projects before his death in 1996 were credits for four Martin Scorsese films: Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993) and Casino (1995).

Not only that, the average lifespan of a Saul Bass logo is a whopping 34 years. Some of his work have yet to be replaced, like the absolutely brilliant designs for Kosé Cosmetics (1959), Kibun (1964), Warner Communications (1972), Girl Scouts (1978, with a slight modification made in 2010) and Geffen Records (1980). With designs as solid, thoughtful and timeless as these, they might never have to be.


From Logos to Film, Saul’s career was one that inspires many creatives in their day to day endeavours. Bass knew how to leverage simplicity colours, basic shapes, and playful animations which created what people perceived as complex emotions. Saul was undoubtedly one of greatest craftsmen in graphic design industry, ultimately asking us to think of things in a new light when we approach film and design.


According to 99designs.com & adhomecreative.com

Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)


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