Book Publication Project

Curating the Life & Works of Saul Bass

Inspiration

Unique layouts and typesetting decisions

Initial Grid Practice

  • Grid is an important tool for organizing content that provides balance and consistency. By breaking the grid, it can create contrast between data elements and an eye-catching moment.
Mocking the magazine layout spreads from The New Yorker

Breaking down content

From the 1500 word biography of Saul Bass, I categorized the information as follows:

  • Table of Contents
  • Entering the Film World
  • A Renaissance Designer
  • Collaboration with Elaine Bass
  • A Design Hero

2. Sample layout sketches

Quick Thumbnail Sketches considering the overall flow of content

Initial Ideation:

  • Maybe have the table of content smaller?
  • Add extra two pages (present the vastness of his works)
  • Flow of timeline throughout the book (even start a little from the title page)
Initial Brainstormed layouts printed

1st feedback

  • Logical organization of the content
  • The idea of string flowing throughout the pages as a design element makes more sense compared to a timeline (not intuitive enough)
  • The gatefold spread needs work — it does not currently meet the purpose of presenting the vastness of film works.
  • Color: Warm colors are dominating most of the spreads — add balance by mixing some cool/ neutral tones in between
  • Overall lack of visual hierarchy: the scale of images are all too similar without a central focus element (particularly the gridding of all the posters and logos)
  • The last spread feels very stylistically detached from the rest of the book

Revision Process

Identity Design page:

Revisiting idea of the Gatefold Spread

The purpose of the gatefold is to visually present Saul Bass as a prolific designer with a great amount of works that are diverse. However, right now all the film sequences are similar in size and they feel disconnected from viewing at the macro perspective. How can I add more rhythm into the presentation of the works?

Initial spread (I tried to create a timeline that arranges the images in a diagonal manner)
Divided categories on each page (creates boundaries that feel disconnected)
  • I tried to singularly focus on one film sequence that is distinct and visually dominating. When I scaled the red swirling graphic from Vertigo to fit two full pages, it created an impactful imagery with a focal point at the core.
  • Following the swirling motion, I incorporated even more title sequence scenes around to continue the dynamic energy.
The scaled up Vertigo graphic would immediately grab the audience’s attention when the gatefold opens.

Full Content Rough

Starting off the string idea as a base timeline (Saul Bass entering the film world with his first sequence for Carmen Jones)
Entry into the vastness of his film works / The Vertigo character entering into the gatefold guides the readers to open the pages
The impactful moment in the book
Breaking down the works of Bass from identity design to short films created with his wife
Final reflection section & my thoughts on Saul Bass

Brief view of the printed mockup of the rough draft

1st Full Printed version

Feedback

  1. Type: needs hierarchy and variation (body context can also be reduced in font size, and maybe add another serif font for captions)
  2. Need system for image credits: link the citations to the images
  3. Continue on the flow of density of his works throughout the spreads (this slowly gets lost from Identity design section)
  4. The pages building up to the main gatefold spread require simple finessing with type, whereas the pages afterwards need to incorporate more works

Spread 1: Placement of Carmen Jones fire (make the graphic feel more integrated with my illustration)

Spread 2: Need image citation for the film posters

Identity Design Spread: More logos! Adjust placement of the type

Gatefold: Take out all the images collaborated with Elaine → drop to the collaborative spread

Collaboration & Legacy spreads: Feels too empty (add more works and scale up images)

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