Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Work of Saul Bass in 100 Seconds

The Title Design of Saul Bass from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

One of my first jobs was delivering reels of film for the now defunct - sad face - Pacific Title & Art Studio. For 90 or so years, Pac Title was a big player in the film titles arena, developing the main titles for The Jazz Singer, Gone With the Wind, Ben Hur, and later working on projects like... er, The Fast and the Furious and Watchmen. Despite the place completely going down the tubes, it's where I learned to really appreciate the craft that goes into making compelling titles that add to a narrative. King of this craft? Saul Bass, obvs.

There's been a lot of news about Bass lately what with the release of Jennifer Bass (his daughter) and Pat Kirkham's Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design. It's a stunning book that gives full attention not only to Bass' work in film, but also his graphic and corporate identity ventures. That said, Bass really shines in the titles arena where he is a master of KISS. This short video - put together by Ian Albinson over at The Art of the Title - pretty succinctly sums up what was so brilliant about Bass; the work is graphic, tense, bold, but most of all, memorable.