The name Saul Bass will be familiar to (if not idolized by) graphic designers.  He’s probably best known for his film credits for Hitchcock, Preminger and Wilder, but in 1969 he was commissioned by the Bell System to redo its logo, for which Bass came up with one of the great designs of the 20th century. 

To brief (and persuade) the corporate executives, he produced an amazing film that still stands up today for its techniques and wit (see what he does starting at 6.30), not to mention capturing the zeitgeist.  (Young people looking for a job: take note of what it was like for the Boomers).

From designKultur:

… the film that Bass produced as communication tool to present his redesign (was not for) public consumption; it was to convince Bell execs to get with the times, because the times, they were a’changing.

The film comes from the Bell Archives and, at 27:00, may seem a bit lengthy, but if you’re at all interested in the era (Vietnam and integration, expos and lunar launches) or the history of graphic design and one of its high priests, I think you’ll find the time extraordinarily well spent.


  1. At around 16:00 there is a bit about the system’s vehicles: “the rolling bill board”. Which pretty much sums up how I feel about transit – and why I oppose the use of advertising wraps on buses and trains.

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