Anatomy of a Murder

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"The symbol became so synonymous with the film that it was possible to remove the actual text of the title in certain instances." Saul Bass, A Life in Film & Design Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham This clipping from the Los Angeles Times amply makes the point. It gives too a sense of what typical newspaper film advertisements looked like then and how much Bass's work challenged those conventions.

This post, as well as the two following, show some Anatomy of a Murder material you won't find in the Bass biography. But then it would have been considerably more than 424 pages to include everything that came out of his studio. Get this book!

• Saul Bass, A Life in Film & Design

Anatomy Of A Murder

The Criterion Collection will release Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder on Tuesday, February 21. Really, what else could possibly make the cover but the great, Saul Bass poster art for the film's original release? Bass wrote the book on film branding and he did far more than the iconic anatomized silhouette that adorns the one sheet. He developed a campaign which was rigorously applied to a host of collateral materials: press releases, letterheads, screening invitations etc. which culminates in one of the great title sequence experiences designed for film.

Criterion enabled me access to the Saul Bass Papers at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/ Margret Herrick Library where I was able to see first hand those materials. Exciting stuff for this graphic designer, film buff and resident Angeleno. It hugely informed the design of this release.

Presented here, in addition to the cover featuring the aforementioned Bass one-sheet art, is the wrap-around cover for the booklet insert --my version of another, lesser seen Bass one-sheet-- as well as some examples of the DVD menus. Thanks and much appreciation to producer, Susan Arosteguy, art director, Sarah Habibi and art production coordinator, William Brese.

Click any image to enlarge.