For this project I decided to do a well-known designer in our class, Saul Bass. I was very interested in Bass’ design from the beginning because of his similar tactics to one of my favorite movies, Monster’s Inc. Although there is no correlation, the Man With the Golden Arm poster design grabbed reminded me of the movie and I was immediately hooked. I began noticing many similarities from Bass throughout his work. His use of color was minimal with most of them having a solid red background with a grunge look. Also, his use of minimal design is consistent through his pieces. Saul Bass doesn’t use straight edges, he’s consistent with his grunge texture in how he uses type and the way his lines are never straight. I used many of these elements in my own poster.
Starting with the overall look and feel of my poster, I think you can tell quickly that Saul Bass inspired it. I used the similar red background with a grunge look overlay to emulate his design. The squares at the top represent the colors of the race flag but also are not completely squares; they are jagged. The squares also look to be fading out of the poster, which is a concept I pulled from his Saint Joan poster. Continually, the type is a bold ad rugged type similar to what you would see from Bass. The lettering is off centered with the most important part of the text representing the biggest visual point besides the picture design. The bike is the center picture because it represents the biggest part of the event. Only part of the bike is showing because Bass is known to have distorted and chunked up designs like his Spartacus and Anatomy of a Murder poster. Finally, the crocked hands at the bottom of the poster represent the number of racers competing through Bass’ iconic arm design. Originally I wanted the hands to hold the wheel of the bike but putting them under the bike gives more disconnect like Saul Bass’ designs had. It’s also good to notice that most of the main visuals in his design don’t have the grunge look to it. They are clean graphics even when the background and type does. For the bike itself, I tried to stick with Bass’ theme of shapes that don’t fit together perfectly but are still meant to be together.
Overall, this project was challenging because I struggled finding the direction Saul Bass would take with designing this poster. After sketching some potential designs, I think I came up with a good idea as to what he might design and I am happy with the piece I put together. I think I did a good job of representing different elements that Bass creates on his posters, however, there might be too many for his liking. With the jagged edges, the grunge look and the block type, there might be one too many elements.