Movies by Design – Saul Bass

Movies by Design

Mark Wassmer writes for Live for Films.

I was wondering how to best introduce this column, and it occurred to me that I should probably tell you a bit about myself first.

So, here goes: I’ve been passionate about movies for as long as I can remember. From the first time I saw Star Wars when I was 5 years old, I was hooked, and this love of film has even influenced my career decisions. I thought about being a storyboard artist, a concept artist – check out Ralph McQuarrie’s ( work and you will know why, and a film poster designer. As I was only 13, I didn’t exactly know how, but I was then introduced to Graphic Design and that was that. I now work as Interaction Director for my own web design agency, and my passion for good design is as strong as ever.

When I was doing my Graphic Design & Advertising degree, I discovered the work of Saul Bass. It’s no coincidence that I am writing this on the day he was born. I was inspired by his logo design, print work and movie posters, but was in awe of his groundbreaking work on Film Title Sequences. He is aptly referred to as the Father of modern film titles. If you are not familiar with his work, don’t worry. In time I’ll make sure you are. Although, I’m pretty sure that most of you would recognise his work, even if you don’t know him by name.


What really struck me about Saul Bass was that what seemed so simple and effortless was so effective. It takes incredible talent to create such beautiful work, with a few simple shapes, striking colours and great typography. Many have tried to imitate. Few have succeeded.

Photo by John G Zimmerman

Copyright John G Zimmerman

It was Saul Bass that united my love of both graphic design and movies, and I seem to find new and exciting things to inspire me everyday.  When I stumble across an amazing film poster –  new or old – or see a stylish film title sequence, I want to share it and that is how this column was born. I plan to showcase great movie related graphic design, from the big Hollywood Studios to the humble fan originated artwork alike.


It seems appropriate to start at the beginning, so here are some links to the work of Saul Bass.


Wellmedicated. By far the most comprehensive selection.

Film Title Sequences: and

A wonderful homage:

Can’t forget Logo Design:

And four of my personal favourite movie posters.

Until next time. Feel free to share your thoughts and links!