Books

The Man With The Golden Arm

Imagine that Apple designer, Jonathan Ive, had also directed the battle sequences in 300 and had built sculptures for the fourth plinth whilst overhauling the corporate identity of Vodaphone. A new monograph suggests that even this couldn’t hope to approximate Saul Bass’ seismic impact on twentieth century film & design. 

For over fifty years, Brooklyn-born Bass covered the waterfront, directing title & action sequences for classics such as Spartacus and Psycho, whilst designing iconic logos for everyone from AT&Tto Quaker Oats.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Bass created hi-fi cabinets, petrol station forecourts, public art, album covers, an Oscar-winning short and dozens of Bauhaus-influenced posters that promoted everything from Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder to environmental charities. "I want to make beautiful things," said Bass, "even if nobody cares."

Many will care a good deal for this magisterial new book.  Designed by Bass' daughter Jennifer and written by Pat Kirkham, it’s packed with Bass’ sketches, storyboards and snappy aperçus (Work?  It’s just serious play) and often reads like an extended conversation with the designer himself.

Bass collaborator Martin Scorsese provides the Foreword to what is a stylish and insightful tribute to the man dubbed the Matisse of the Bronx.

Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design by Jennifer Bass, Pat Kirkham (Laurence King Publishing), £48, is out now

Words by Neil Jaworski

What do you think?

Culture
Share
Benedict Cumberbatch Sang Onstage With Pink Floyd's David Gilmour
The pair sang 'Comfortably Numb'
Mark Walhberg
Culture
Share
Mark Wahlberg Talks Success, Fatherhood And Burgers
A quick chat with the Deepwater Horizon actor​
Apple HQ Battersea
Culture
Share
Apple Is Setting Up A HQ In One Of London's Most Iconic Buildings
Welcome to Battersea, America​
Film
Share
Disney Is Remaking The Lion King Because Nothing Left In This World Is Sacred
Jon Favreau: step away from our childhoods​
Justin Vernon
Culture
Share
Album Review: 22, A Million By Bon Iver
​Bon Iver's new album has a spring in its step​
Warren Beatty
Film
Share
Warren Beatty Says He Didn't Actually Have Sex With 13,000 Women
That myth was too good to be true
fifa 17 gameplay
Culture
Share
This Is How Fifa Video Game Player Ratings Are Really Calculated
From the man in charge of creating them​
The Dude Big Lebowski
GIF
Film
Share
These Are The 21 Greatest Character Exits In Movie History
"The Dude abides"​​
Jamie Vardy
Culture
Share
Jamie Vardy Slowed His Injury Recovery Because He Loved Skittle Vodka Too Much
A hero we can relate to​​​
James Corden and Usain Bolt
TV
Share
Watch James Corden Take On Usain Bolt In A 100 Metre Sprint
Also starring Owen Wilson, for some reason​​​