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From Poul Webb's blog:
Saul Bass was born in 1920 in New York City, to a Jewish immigrant family. 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.
Saul Bass stepped up the sophistication of film 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 un-important, 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.
Titles became a spectacle to be seen. Film reels with Bass credits were delivered to movie theaters along with a note: “projectionist – pull curtain before titles.”
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).
These are some of his best known film posters: