A Peek Inside Saul Bass Workflow With Stanley Kubrick

Famous graphic designer Saul Bass is probably most known for his identity (logo) design work in the 20th century (At&t logo, Girl Scouts logo). His credits also include famous movie poster designs like the one shown below for the Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining”.

graphic designer saul bass movie poster

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

This poster design wasn’t a “design and done” deal however. Many of Bass’ concepts were rejected by Kubrick before settling on the final design. Below are some of the initial sketches Saul presented to the film maker. The back and forth commentary between the two creatives is quite insightful.

Saul Bass rejected poster design

Image Source: thefoxisblack.com

 

Saul Bass rejected poster design

Image Source: thefoxisblack.com

 

Saul Bass rejected poster design

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

 

Saul Bass rejected poster design

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

 

Saul Bass rejected poster design

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

And below is a typed and hand written letter by Saul Bass to Kubrick, explaining his design concepts.

typed letter by Saul Bass to Kubrick

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

 

typed letter from Saul Bass to Kubrick

Image source: thefoxisblack.com

This creation process only goes to show how in depth a design project can get. Many people only take into consideration the final product when understanding price. Multiple concepts and multiple revisions are typical with a graphic design project.

Thanks to Bobby Solomon for producing this material. He took the above photos while visiting a traveling art exhibit for Stanley Kubrick. You can read his art and design blog here. As always, comments are more than welcome in the form below.

AUTHOR

Derek Kimball

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm a graphic designer who specializes in logo design and brand identity. If you'd like to receive periodic updates to useful design resources and writings, subscribe to the newsletter.

All stories by: Derek Kimball
3 comments
  • Nick P.

    Thanks for posting this I’m a huge Kubrick fan. I love to see all the behind the scenes stuff. I agree with you that many people don’t realize how much work goes in to completing a project. I came across your site while searching for animated gif’s and was enticed to look at the rest of your stuff. Lol, You completely pulled me off track of what I was doing.

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