Saul Bass’s Film Titles Celebrated in Google Doodle [Video]

NEW YORK | Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 1:41am EDT

Google has honoured the American Graphic Designer Saul Bass with a video Google Doodle on his 93rd birthday.

American graphic designer and filmmaker, Saul Bass, has been given a video Google Doodle to mark what would have been his 93rd birthday.

The short one minute doodle takes one through a journey of Bass’ most remembered posters and credits. The video doodle encompasses Bass’ journey in short 60 seconds.

Saul Bass’ birthday has been marked by Google’s most elaborate “doodles” yet – an animated sequence based on his designs for film title credits, film posters and corporate logos.

As Bass was best known for his cinema title sequences and movie posters, working with such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. The video showcases some of his best work from a prolific Hollywood career which spanned five decades.

Born in an immigrant family on May 8, 1920, in Bronx, New York, Saul Bass was interested in designing and arts since a young age.

He attended night classes for his passion and began his career in 1940 with Hollywood by doing print work for film ads, says the Guardian.

A breakthrough came in the film industry when he was hired in 1954 by Otto Preminger to create an innovative title sequence for the credits of the film, Carmen Jones, which he did using an animated flaming rose.

Otto was impressed by Saul Bass’ work and requested him to design the entire opening credits of his movie.

Saul Bass took the opportunity and realised the amount of creativity that one could experiment with during the opening and closing credits.

Until the 1950s, the normal method for film credits was to present names and titles on cards, or against an unmoving backdrop.Bass changed the entire way Hollywood looked at the credits of a movie.

The following year, Bass’s credit sequence for another production, The Man With the Golden Arm, played again with a strong graphic image.

The movie was based on a controversial subject and Bass took the opportunity to create a title sequence as hard-hitting and innovative as the subject of the movie. Bass provided title sequences for most popular directors and even did the title sequences for Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.

He used his favored lines, which morphed into a vortex of whirling spirals in the opening credits of Vertigo (1958).

He designed the title sequences for Hitchcock’s many films, like North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960), and his work also included Spartacus (1960), West Side Story (1961), The Shining (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991) and Casino (1995).

Bass also designed movie posters that were used extensively in advertising. His technique for the posters was the same as that of the rolling credits.

Using the visual medium to give a glimpse into the story, Bass designed the posters evoking an interest in the movie content.

Apart from movie titles, Bass also created logos for most of America’s logos. He created logos for Japanese companies as well.

The great creator passed away on 25th April 1996. Though no more, his ideas still live on and design techniques are still considered to be revolutionary and inspire many budding designers in the movie industry.

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