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Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design [Hardcover]

Jennifer Bass , Pat Kirkham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £50.00
Price: £32.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Nov 2011
This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. With more than 1,400 illustrations, many of them never published before and written by the leading design historian Pat Kirkham, this is the definitive study that design and film enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American postwar visual culture. Having extended the remit of graphic design to include film titles, he went on to transform the genre. His best known works include a series of unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Otto Preminger's The Man With The Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta. His wife and collaborator, Elaine, joined the Bass office in the late 1950s. Together they created an impressive series of award-winning short films, including the Oscarwinning Why Man Creates, as well as an equally impressive series of film titles, ranging from Stanley Kubricks Spartacus in the early 1960s to Martin Scorseses Cape Fear and Casino in the 1990s. Designed by Jennifer Bass, Saul Bass' daughter and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham, who knew Saul Bass personally, this book is full of images from the Bass archive, providing an in-depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King (7 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856697525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856697521
  • Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 26.9 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


."..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
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a full credit to Mr Bass 12 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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 at 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 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 statements to a movie. 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 and Opening Titles 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. The book's coverage is hardly comprehensive when this kind of design commission looks into every visual corner of a company.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 9 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A little on the expensive side, but it's a huge book with lots of great information and pictures.
I don't think I need to say more than that as if you're thinking of buying it I don't want to give any of it's information away in this review.
I was interested in Saul Bass as I love the simplicity of his graphics and I found this a great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Fanzine 1 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A beautifully produced book but some what of a fanzine. Perhaps Bass needed to be set inside a wider historical context.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 15 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good value for money, extensive monograph, this is the book that every designer should have in his library. Thumbs up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The soul of Saul Bass 6 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
During my education on the School of Journalism I saw a retrospective of Saul Bass on a film festival. I was an instant fan. This book is almost a perfect tribute to his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 25 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my son's birthday. He is a Graphic Designer and the images bring back different eras.- Great
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 14 April 2013
By Geoff K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We brought A Life in Film & Design for our sons birthday as he really enjoys and appreciates works by and also about Saul Bass, it is a very interesting publication. It arrived safe and sound, no problems.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life in film and design 20 Feb 2013
By Penny
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought as a present for my daughter for which it was necessary for her tutorials. She is very pleased with it.
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