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Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design Hardcover – November 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing; Unknown edition (November 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856697525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856697521
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 10.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Saul Bass ... Possibly the most famous graphic designer of all time....yet no definitive monograph of his prolific, monumental work has existed--until now."--The Atlantic

"... A superb guide...." --Wall Street Journal

Saul Bass, best known for transforming the way movies begin, was in fact a designer of incredible versatility. As design historian Pat Kirkham shows in his forthcoming book on Bass (co-authored with Bass' daughter Jennifer), the legendary "visual communicator" also applied his graphic wizardry to album and book covers, typefaces, packaging, retail displays, a hi-fi system, toys and a postage stamp.

"Surely Bass already has a monograph--he must. But he didn't, until now.....Today, everyone claims to be a multidisciplinary designer, but Bass was one of the first to be commercially successful at it--45 years ago."

"Few cineastes would disagree that, among designers of motion-picture graphics, Saul Bass is the king of them all." --Metropolis.com

"...the first major book on his work....the book paints an engaging picture of Bass as a vigorous, highly disciplined man with a gift for friendship and sense of fun."--The New York Times, and this same review by Alice Rawsthorn also appeared in the INTERNATIONAL HEARLD TRIBUNE.

About the Author

Jennifer Bass is a graphic designer and artist. She has worked at CBS Television in New York and at Sussman/Prejza & Company in Los Angeles. In 1994, she and her husband, Lance Glover, opened their studio, Treehouse Design Partnership in Los Angeles, working in the areas of environmental graphics, identity and book design.

Pat Kirkham is Professor in the History of Design, Decorative Arts and Culture at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture, New York. She has written and edited a number of books, including Charles and Ray Eames (1998) and Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000 (2001).

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a well researched, glossy, beautiful book.
Dr. Jules Black
Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design is the first retrospective book on the 20th century's film title master and what an awesome one at that.
Cameron Collie
I love it. (and all the other words needed to finish out my review of this book.)
KEN BOUSQUET

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A timely release about one of the great and influential designers of the last century and clearly Pat Kirkham has made this a scholarly work considering the amount of research involved. The title will most likely become the standard biography of Bass. Having said that I was disappointed to find the book had some editorial flaws in its presentation.

Millions of movie-goers are familiar with the stunning credits Bass created (sixty stills are included in a fold-out dateline in the back pages) from Carmen Jones in 1954 to Casino in 1995 and the book rightly devotes a large number of pages to credits and the marketing of these movies. My first disappointment is that a DVD was not included with the book. OK, I'll accept that this would involve a lot of extra work (and probably copyright fees to make the book even costlier) and it wasn't in the author's remit so the fall back position would be to show the credits in as much detail as possible: frame by frame to give the reader a feel of how Bass created these powerful opening movie statements. Unfortunately many of these credit stills throughout the book are treated more as individual images, in various sizes, rather than shown as a sequence of large thumbnails. Solana and Boneu's Uncredited: Graphic Design & Opening Titles in Movies [With DVD] book has a whole chapter on Bass credits and the pages work well. 'Anatomy of a murder' has thirty-two thumbnails, 'North by northwest' has twenty-four. In this book they get six and five.

Chapter six looks at the corporate work of Saul Bass and he worked for a lot of companies.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Find the common element among these things: _Psycho_; United Airlines; Quaker Oats; Dixie Cups; _Goodfellas_; the Girls Scouts of America. I picked a grab bag, and I could have included a lot more, to show how diverse the work of Saul Bass was; he did graphics, and more, for all of them. There is no bigger name in graphic design than Saul Bass, and now there is a gorgeous book, huge and colorful as befits his career, _Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design_ (Lawrence King Publishing) by his daughter Jennifer Bass, herself a graphic designer, and Pat Kirkham, who teaches decorative arts and design history. Flip through the 400 big pages here, and you are bound to find logos, posters, and movie title sequences you have seen many times; Bass's range and influence were astonishing. There is a bit of biography here, along with a relatively chronological summary of his work from his poster for his high school's open house through the poster for _Schindler's List_. The text is worth reading, and the authors have quoted generously from Bass's own thoughts on his life, work, methods, and output. As befits Bass's legacy, however, this is a picture book, and it is a treat for the eyes.

Bass grew tired of following formulas and "cramming as much illustration, type and hype as you possibly could into ads" in the early days, and eventually specified that he would not work on movie ads. In 1946, however, he realized he had to get out to Hollywood. Title sequences of the movies were conventional letters over conventional backgrounds, and sometimes theaters ran the initial credits over the curtain as it went up. Bass thought a film began at the first frame and deserved a mood-setting overture.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BLS on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
From the iconic cover image to the unique illustrated footnotes, Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design is a real design treat. Luxuriously paced to give the reader time to enter and enjoy each beautifully printed image. At 1400+ images this could become tiresome and over-saturated but I found it easy to lose myself in each of Bass's designs. Saul's stories and insights are scattered throughout. His voice and his work are presented in a way that would make him proud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ed Justice Jr. on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The only book on one of America's great designers. Complete and a gift to all of us that held, and still hold Saul Bass in high esteem. His complete range of work is on display in this BIG, THICK book. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Brown on January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must have for designers to have in their collection. It's beautifully designed and I'm so happy we purchased it. Such a great price too. Happy all around. It was delivered on time and packaged well so that it wasn't damaged in any way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Collie on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design is the first retrospective book on the 20th century's film title master and what an awesome one at that. Just buy this book. It's amazing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Goldschmidt on December 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
from my fiance and this book is a knockout! I love the work of SAUL BASS and am still learning about it! So graphically appealing and this book is HUGE and HEAVY! A real treat to look through. My degree is in ART/ILLUSTRATION and couldn't be happier with this present!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Devon Miller on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is visually stunning. The text is informative and unpretentious and the collection of Bass' artwork, from film posters to corporate logos, is breathtaking.
The book as a whole provides fascinating insight into the creative process of one of the most influential designers of our time.
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