Saul Bass – The maverick who revolutionized motion pictures and brand identity

h4>How many of the classic movies have you watched? Citizen Kane? Gone With The Wind? Casablanca? As good as those motion pictures were, was there anything special about the title sequence? Now how about more recent cult favourites? Maybe Fight Club, or something as recent as Deadpool 2? Did you notice any significant difference in the title credits? If you did, Saul Bass is the one you need to thank.

Born in New York during the roaring 20s, Saul Bass had a knack for art and aesthetics from a young age. After spending his early youth at Brooklyn College under the guidance of acclaimed Hungarian designer Gyorgy Kepes, he started his career in advertising. His initiation into Hollywood was by designing print ads for motion pictures such as Death of a Salesman, Champion, The Moon is Blue etc. Then came his big break with the 1954 film, Carmen Jones.

Impressed by his work on the poster, the film’s director Otto Preminger tasked him with the film’s title sequence. This is where he changed the game.

With the Saul Bass touch he breathed life into title credits which were generally dull and boring. He introduced his signature style of ‘Kinetic Typography’ where letter were not static and monotonous anymore. They were playful participants that improved the movie experience for the audience.

Since then, there was no looking back for him. Saul Bass became the person you called when you needed a killer poster or a wacky title sequence for your big budget blockbuster. He went on to leave his mark on various classics, namely – Anatomy of a Murder, Vertigo, Goodfellas, Casino and many more.


Here’s a compilation for you to experience the genius:

Now let’s take a look at some of his posters that inspired artists for generations to come.

Movie posters and titles weren’t the only places where he challenged the status quo. Saul Bass was also responsible for introducing minimalism into corporate identity and creating logos that stand the test of time triumphantly. Some of the logos that he created decades ago are yet to be changed or revamped.

Here’s a list of some Saul Bass logos that gave brands their face:

How many of these products have you used and how many of these logos do you recognize? Let us know in comments.

Disclaimer: All images sourced from the internet and used only for inspiration. Copyrights for the images belong to their respective owners.


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