Saul Bass Professional years: 1954 — 1995
Saul Bass to his young daughter: “I’m going off now, you play with your toys and I’ll go play with mine.” We’re being paid to play with toys.
“I never intended on it being art. I tried to make a communication.”
You’re work is unappreciated. The price tag hung on well crafted work is approaching zero. Fiscal efficiency dominates. The truth is, you can get an answer quickly if you don’t care about beauty and, I’m sure you’ve heard, time is money.
I believe the universal question that’s rapidly approaching the tunnel’s mouth is: how are we going to live our lives? New graduates polled reveal that money is less important than to previous generations. Good thing I think.
There is too much evidence to deny that it takes 10+ years to master a craft. Who has that kind of commitment and patience for anything these days? Mastery is a brutal journey and one easily dropped at a convenient turn. Yet there is a common thread running through anything we abandon throughout the journey.
How long does it take to master aesthetics? While not a craft, aesthetics is the “other” component of all commercial and fine art. Aesthetics is lifelong and mastering it is probably unattainable but it is often sacrificed in the money trade.
“Time is short, art is long” – Saul Bass
Everyone has to learn too much in too short a time. The only way of learning is to do it. There is no shortcut. You need to do a lot of things over and over to get better and better.
Saul Bass’ advice to students was “learn to draw” since without hand skills you’ll contort to discover a work-around solution. I believe this is still true but when then do we find the time to master Adobe Illustrator? Aesthetics must be the answer; study the essence of beauty and apply whatever tool you own.
Viewing Saul Bass I understand that whether beauty is worth anything or not, it is worth a lifetime pursuit. “Do the work, get paid or spend time to care about beauty. Don’t live under the illusion that anyone else cares.”
Unmistakable artistic signature is found in this “Catch Me If You Can” Title Sequence:
Saul Bass bio [via Wikipedia]
Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was an American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he is best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences.
During his 40-year career he worked for some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, including most notably Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Amongst his most famous title sequences are the animated paper cut-out of a heroin addict’s arm for Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm, the text racing up and down what eventually becomes a high-angle shot of the United Nations building in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and the disjointed text that raced together and was pulled apart for Psycho (1960).
Saul Bass designed the sixth AT&T Bell System logo. He also designed AT&T’s “globe” logo after the breakup of the Bell System. Bass also designed Continental Airlines’ 1968 “jetstream” logo which became the most recognized airline industry logo of the 1970s.