Cinema and Graphic Design: Title Sequences by Saul Bass and Juan Gatti

By Sara Blancas Alvarez.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

During the fifties, an ample acceptance of the modern style in the diverse aspects of the American culture took place, including the publicity and title sequences design. This style, characterized by the simplification of the forms in favor of one more effective communication, can be found in Saul Bass, who took it to the scope of the cinematographic publicity. Bass was a pioneer of the creation of an image unified for all the promotional material of a film. His method of work consisted of creating a graphic symbol that gathered the essence of the film, and that was later applied to the diverse advertising material (posters, announcements in press, etc.) and the titles sequence (opening and ending). With his designs, Bass proposed a revolution both at a conceptual and a formal level. At a conceptual level, what he called a "simple idea" used for the creation of a graphic symbol. And at a formal level, he used a style that lots of people have called minimalist. Photographer and graphic designer Juan Gatti has worked in Spain for film directors, such as Pedro Almodóvar (“Women on a verge of a nervous breakdown,” 1987) since the eighties, and he offers a very personal style in the title sequences design. Gatti's works are characterized by their eclecticism, by its ability to harmoniously unite the most diverse visual references (Saul Bass, Andy Warhol and Pop art, the glamor of high fashion, etc.). His works for Spanish cinema have led to a revitalization and recognition of the contribution of graphic design to cinema.

Keywords: Title Sequence, Graphic Design, Cinema, Graphics in Motion, Saul Bass, Juan Gatti

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.710MB).

Dr. Sara Blancas Alvarez

Professor, Drawing Department, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Her education training includes a Licentiate on Fine Art (1997) and PhD in Fine Arts (2002) from the University of Granada, Spain. She received her Master’s in Scenographic Design from Complutense University, Madrid in 2006. She was a professor of Graphic Design and Scenographic Design in the Faculty of Fine Art at Complutense University, Madrid from 2004 to 2007. She now teaches Drawing in the Faculty of Fine Art at University of Granada; she began teaching here in 2007. She has been a member of the ITLE research group (Lighting Stage Technologic Institute), Complutense University, Madrid since 2006. Additionally, she has been a member of the Hum. 731 research group, University of Granada, since 2007. Her artistic work includes: Scenographer (with Omar Ortegón) and costume design for zarzuela “El Barbero de Sevilla” (Gimenez and Nieto), Theatre Guimera, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, 2006. Scenographic Design Assistant for zarzuela “La tabernera del puerto”, a production of Theatre Principal of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2006.