We recently started working on a new Web site for a client. The client provided some initial design direction by letting us know of their interest to have a site design that blends a modern web feel with the tone of Old Hollywood. So we started brainstorming what this actually meant…what it such a blend should look like…etc. etc. Eventually we ended up thinking about movie titles design and that’s when I was reminded of Saul Bass.
Saul Bass was a graphic design who revolutionized movie titles and opening credits. The 1955 film The Man With the Golden Arm was distributed to theatres with a note atop the reels that said “Down the houselights before the opening credits.” In that age, the houselights typically stayed up as the movie got started.
His work became even more famous in Hitchcock films like Psycho and in doing the logos for United Airlines and Bell Telephone in the 60s and 70s. In the 90s, he began collaborating with Martin Scorsese on film titles for Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino.
His work heavily influenced the opening titles for Steven Spielberg’s film Catch Me if You Can and most recently, the opening titles of the TV show Mad Men are definitely inspired by Saul Bass.
Here’s a few title sequences I thought I’d share with you.
The Man With the Golden Arm
North by Northwest