A Brief Visual Introduction to Saul Bass’ Celebrated Title Designs

Title sequences begin and end every movie. They can be “engaging or wildly entertaining … or simply drop dead beautiful.” They can “ooze with visual poetry and sophisticated imagery.” And they can put the audience in the right mood for the movie, or close it in the right way, says the web site Forget the Films, Watch the Titles.

When it comes to title design, no one did it better than Saul Bass (1920-1996). During his long career in Hollywood, Bass designed sequences for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (full movie here), Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Cape Fear, Kubrick’s Spartacus, and several films by Alfred Hitchcock. And that’s just beginning to scratch the surface.

Created by Ian Albinson, the montage above offers a brief visual history of Bass’s most celebrated work, stitching together designs from 25 films. (Find the full film list here.)  If this whets your appetite, you’ll want to check out the newly-published book Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design and this web site dedicated to Bass’s title design. And don’t miss our big collection of Free Movies Online.

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