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Saul BassAnatomy of Film Design$
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Jan-Christopher Horak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813147185

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813147185.001.0001

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Film Titles

Film Titles

Theory and Practice

(p.71) 2 Film Titles
Saul Bass

Jan-Christopher Horak

University Press of Kentucky

In the late 1950s Saul Bass almost single-handedly initiated a Renaissance in the design of film credits. His titles for That’s Entertainment II summarize many of the techniques of traditional movie titles, which were inherently self-reflexive. In classical Hollywood, titles were kept to a minimum—used to identify the studio rather than an individual film. In Bass on Titles, the designer talks not so much about his theory of film titling; rather, that film is more of an advertisement for his titles. Bass’s title designs were based on a grid structure with strong horizontal and vertical symmetry and sans serif typefaces for legibility. His titles for Psycho, Goodfellas, Bonjour Tristesse, and other films were composed graphically in two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional space, even when the titles were animated.

Keywords:   self-reflexivity, grid structure, sans serif typography, animation, Psycho, Bonjour Tristesse

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