Saul Bass - A Life in Film and Design

Saul Bass - The Big Picture

Exciting times, chums. People have waited years for this book to be published and now it is amongst us. London-based publishers Laurence King, independent British publishers for 20 years, have released Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design [Amazon]by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham.

Saul Bass is one of the most striking graphic designers of the 20th Century. We all know his designs for the posters and title sequences of some of our favourite films, Hitchcock's Vertigo and The Birds, and Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder. All these designs are in the book and so many more less well known, such as his work on logos and corporate identities - Quaker Oats and Minolta to name a couple.

Smashing Preface

In his entertaining preface to the book, Martin Scorcese says of the graphic style of Bass that he "found and distilled the poetry of the modern, industrialized world."

The Book

Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design is designed by Saul Bass’s daughter Jennifer and written by design historian Pat Kirkham, who has also written on Charles and Ray Eames. The book, which has 1,400 illustrations, many never published before, is a definitive visual record of the legacy of Saul Bass.

The Shame of The Tweed Pig

I'm pretty sure Saul Bass would have one or two things to say about The Tweed Pig logo we knocked up. Looking at it right now, I feel shamed into wanting to do something about it. But not enough to interrupt this cup of tea. Maybe tomorrow.

Saul Bass Gallery

The samples here include:
  • The 1956 album cover to Frank Sinatra's Tone Poems of Color.
  • The 1958 poster to the film Anatomy of a Murder.
  • The 1973 album cover to Japanese musician Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind project Freedom is Frightening.

Music from the Man Who Fell to Earth

Wind Words from Freedom is Frightening (27' 52" in on clip video below) is an incredibly lovely and otherworldly tune. Do listen to it. It was also included, fittingly, on the soundtrack to Nicolas Roeg's film The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie. Much of Stomu's output in the 70s was recorded in England, so — according to our arbitrary rules — we can claim this track as a British classic. Hidden gem is a bit of catch-all though, so it would have sneaked in one way or another.


  1. Hello,
    Thank you for this interesting post.
    I have a question: Do you happen to know if the Saul Bass created record sleeve for Freedeom is Frightening is available as a poster/print/litho?
    Thnaks for your information.

    1. Thanks B-flat. Not as far as I know. Nice idea though. Let me know if you manage to track one down.

  2. Stomu's album is now available again.


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