The Man with the Golden Arm, 1955, director: Otto Preminger, design: Saul Bass, © AMPAS
Vertigo, 1958, director: Alfred Hitchcock, design: Saul Bass, © AMPAS
Anatomy of a Murder, 1959, director: Otto Preminger, design: Saul Bass, © AMPAS

Exhibition: Saul Bass in London

The Design Museum in London presents the work of the American graphic designer Saul Bass until October 10, 2004. Bass was considered a master in the design of film posters and opening credits.


Before Saul Bass, the opening credits of a movie were just a list of names projected onto the curtains in front of the movie screen. The curtains were opened only when the movie started. With Saul Bass' design for the movie "The Man with the Golden Arm" in 1954, this changed for good. The film reel was sent to the theaters with the note to open the curtain for the opening credits since director Otto Preminger considered it an integral part of his movie. Over the course of time, Bass turned the opening credits into an art form.


Saul Bass (1920 – 1996) was born in New York and studied graphic design. In 1954 he designed a film poster for "Carmen Jones" by Otto Preminger, who later asked him to also design the opening credits. In the coming years, Bass worked for the directors Alfred Hitchcock (for "Psycho" and "Vertigo"), Stanley Kubrick ("Spartacus") and Billy Wilder ("The Seven Year Itch"). Each time he succeeded in finding an image that symbolized the entire movie. During the 1960s, Saul Bass started to make his own movies. Later, he returned to graphic design and, among others, designed the logos for AT&T, United Airlines and Minolta. He also designed the poster for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Finally, Bass returned to collaborating with Hollywood and designed the opening credits for Martin Scorsese's movies "Cape Fear", "Time of Innocence" and "Casino".


On September 11, 2004, the symposium "Discovering Saul Bass" will take place within the framework of the exhibition: lectures and a tour through the exhibition, concluding with a showing of "Vertigo" in the National Film Theatre.


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