I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares
August 11, 2017 3:39 AM   Subscribe

 
Such economy, such perfection.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:24 AM on August 11 [3 favorites]


Bass's credit sequence for Frankenheimer's Gran Prix is such an amazing feat of editing and story telling.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 AM on August 11 [4 favorites]


Great posters, great resources as well, thanks for collecting them in one place!

That second video link "On Making Money vs Quality Work" should be required viewing for any individual considering a career in design: true wisdom born from experience.
posted by jeremias at 4:58 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Note to all the "Thing if designed by Saul Bass" makers...Please study these great posters really, really, hard and see just how far off base you are with your homages.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:11 AM on August 11 [11 favorites]


Awesome and inspiring.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:19 AM on August 11


Nice post, but the it needs at least the trailer to Bass's sole feature length directorial effort, Phase IV, which is pretty amazing on its own.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:49 AM on August 11 [5 favorites]


(Actually, I get you're focusing on his design work with the post, so the film stuff doesn't really need to be added, I just dig the movie so much I had to mention it.)
posted by gusottertrout at 5:52 AM on August 11


His style was so striking and influential that it was widely copied in his own time, and many of the posters that are still attributed to Bass were actually created by imitators (e.g. “West Side Story” and “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World”).

Pardon me, I'm just picking up the pieces of my mind that are scattered about the place
posted by yhbc at 6:08 AM on August 11


Nice post, but the it needs at least the trailer to Bass's sole feature length directorial effort, Phase IV, which is pretty amazing on its own.

tbh I forgot about Phase IV... really should have considering I found about the original ending being cut not too long ago.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:47 AM on August 11




Man, that Bell system redesign video is nutty awesome. Laden with almost whimsical excess with dollops of really solid design strategy interspersed. It really deserves a more comprehensive breakdown of its own. I mean everything in it has this weird weight of significance to it that seems well beyond the call of a redesign pitch alone. Bass obviously wasn't joking in the Money vs Quality video since the Bell video is as much or more a personal work than just a corporate sales job.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:02 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


That original ending makes me wonder if Tarkovsky saw Phase IV. There's some imagery in Stalker that seems like it could be an homage.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:14 AM on August 11


There are lots of movies that are fine, even good, that were disappointing to me once I finally saw them, they couldn't live up to the hype suggested by the Saul Bass poster. (Anatomy of a Murder is the example I'm thinking of.)

But when it works or when paired with his other design work, I get giddy with excitement; his credits work for North by Northwest, even though they've since been so copied, makes it impossible for me to not keep watching that movie (along with just about everything else about it).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:37 AM on August 11


I have a complicated relationship with the Bell diaspora, so I watched the Bell logo one first. I was working there when the division I worked in was split off into to the short lived Lucent, and they gave everyone* a framed print of the evolution of the Bell logo. Except that 1969 redesign is followed by the original AT&T deathstar logo, followed by the godawful Lucent logo that almost everyone hated and nobody probably remembers now so here you go.

It's like one of those Evolution of Man parodies where the guy starts deevolving toward the end. So of course, I've had it hanging proudly in my home office for twenty years or something now.

* Or somewhere between "everyone" and "just me, personally."
posted by ernielundquist at 8:45 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


There are lots of movies that are fine, even good, that were disappointing to me once I finally saw them, they couldn't live up to the hype suggested by the Saul Bass poster.

Yeah, looking at the posters, The Big Country one has some problems in that fashion. The movie's great and the poster is powerful, but the two don't match. Bass captured the basic idea of the plot, which revolves around water rights in an arid locale, but the setting, tone, and deeper themes of the movie don't come across in the poster much at all. The poster looks more suitable to a spaghetti western, filmed in some harsh desert like conditions with sharply drawn high contrast characters.

The Big Country is more muted, based around character conflict that builds off similarities and some nuance in values, is set in the hilly high plains, and has a subdued color scheme. Anyone relying on the poster for the feel of the film would, I think, be disappointed.

Except that 1969 redesign is followed by the original AT&T deathstar logo, followed by the godawful Lucent logo that almost everyone hated and nobody probably remembers now so here you go.

No, no, that Lucent logo's great! It has a strong message of commitment and corporate mystique behind it. It's like in the movies when a murder victim uses their last bit of strength to leave a clue about who killed them by scrawling an initial on the floor with their own blood. That's real strength of purpose!
posted by gusottertrout at 9:12 AM on August 11 [3 favorites]


they couldn't live up to the hype suggested by the Saul Bass poster. (Anatomy of a Murder is the example I'm thinking of.)

You shut your mouth.
posted by rhizome at 9:30 AM on August 11 [2 favorites]


Pardon me, I'm just picking up the pieces of my mind that are scattered about the place

Save the pieces! Bass did design the opening title sequences to both West Side Story and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, just not the posters (though IMDB is now telling me he did uncredited work on at least one IAMMMMW poster, go fig).
posted by Spatch at 6:24 PM on August 11


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