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Vertigo movie poster

Vertigo movie poster design by Saul Bass

Legendary Graphic Designer Saul Bass

We have covered various movie poster illustrators in the past, but the modern movie poster is a graphic designer’s medium. And when discussing movie poster design, the subject begins with legendary graphic designer Saul Bass.

Anatomy of a Murder movie poster

Anatomy of a Murder movie poster design by Saul Bass

Saul Bass brought a designer’s sense of iconography and purpose to film posters, and more importantly, to film-making in general. The man who created the AT&T logo designed only a few film posters in his early career, but his designs were enough to change the direction of film key art. When looking at his poster designs for films like Anatomy of a Murder, Vertigo, and Exodus, one can see how Bass was able to encapsulate a film’s narrative direction in a visual identity through graphic design.

His early success in film poster key art led Saul Bass to his most famous contribution to motion pictures: designing opening title sequences. Until that time, a film’s opening credits were likely to be a mundane listing of personnel involved with making the film. Bass changed all that when he established film title design as an art form, especially in his famous collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock.

The influence of the groundbreaking design work of Saul Bass continues today, whether it’s the playful opening titles in the recent film Catch Me If You Can or the controversial “homage” in the one-sheet for the Spike Lee film Clockers.

Buy Saul Bass movie posters at: AllPosters, eBay, MoviePosterShop.com, Amazon

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5 Comments

  1. adminApril 10, 2005 at 4:09 PMReply

    You can see the complete opening title sequence for Catch Me If You Can at the web site for Nexus Productions (the design agency which produced the titles), but their Flash site navigation to find it is a real chore. :(

  2. Film Posters of the 50s: The Essential Movies of the Decade « posterwire.comApril 12, 2005 at 3:37 PMReply

    […] . Whether it was the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet or the emergence of designer Saul Bass, some consider the 1950s as part of the “golden age” of film poster art. The f […]

  3. Self Love « Posterwire.com « the movie poster weblogFebruary 8, 2008 at 6:19 PMReply

    […] has included an interesting spectrum of designers — from comic book illustrator Alex Ross to legendary graphic designer Saul Bass (and maybe a lesser known designer or […]

  4. Hezbollah Exodus « Posterwire.com » the movie poster weblogJanuary 27, 2010 at 12:51 PMReply

    […] Exodus movie poster was designed for the 1960 film by legendary graphic designer Saul Bass (Bass also designed the film’s title credits). The Exodus poster remains one of the more […]

  5. Film Posters of the 50s: The Essential Movies of the Decade « Posterwire.com » the movie poster weblogJanuary 28, 2010 at 4:46 PMReply

    […] theater. Whether it was the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet or the emergence of designer Saul Bass, some consider the 1950s as part of the “golden age” of film poster art. The fifties […]

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