In 1969 legendary graphic designer Saul Bass was hired to redesign At&t’s “Bell System” logo. It was Mr Bass’ job to help revamp the phone company giant’s outdated identity. Also being a film maker, Saul created the video below as a way to present in detail, his logo redesign and rebranding ideas to company executives.
The video is 27 minutes long and is a great watch for logo designers or those interested in corporate branding. The film starts off with Saul narrating about the culture of the time. He then transitions into the importance of a strong identity and how he can help his client achieve this. Saul’s ability to sell his designs and ideas is pretty remarkable. While you’re watching, notice Bass’ usage of the word “we” rather than “you”.
According to the At&t archives, Saul Bass’ redesign resulted in the largest corporate re-identity program in US history. The redesign covered 135,000 Bell system vehicles, 22,000 buildings, 1,250,000 phone booths, and 170 millions telephone directories. If you enjoy Saul Bass check out my article “A Peek Inside Saul Bass’ Workflow With Stanley Kubrick“; which includes original poster sketches from the designer.
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