Legendary graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass has been responsible for some of the most iconic film title sequences and poster design for Hollywood movies. After 1960, much of Saul Bass’s title design and film work was made in collaboration with his wife Elaine. Together, they pioneered a new way of thinking about the design of opening title sequences for modern movies. As web designers, there is much we can learn from his ability to do more with less design elements.
A hallmark of the Basses work was the incorporation of the mood or theme of the movie as a key element in the design of the title sequence. Typically, title sequences up until this time were largely generic, giving few clues about the nature of the movie itself. Saul and Elaine Bass gave powerful emotion and story-telling to the title sequence. Their design was often every bit as entertaining as the movie itself!
How Can Web Designers be Inspired by Saul Bass?
As you look at the work of Saul and Elaine Bass, you see how emotion and story-telling is achieved with a just a few carefully chosen design elements. As web designers, we need to reach the hearts of our audience quickly and powerfully. Ideally, we want to tell a story and elicit an emotional response within the limited real estate of a Web browser screen. The spare use of well chosen colors, typographical elements and graphic images was mastered by the Basses in a way that translates well to web design. We can learn how to better use design to communicate with power and brevity on smartphones, tablets and traditional computers.
The video linked above shows a sampling of the work of Saul and Elaine Bass. It's a great resource worthy of study by web designers! -Don Peterson, Freelance Web Designer