Saul Bass & Stanley Kubrick: the creative battle for The Shining's ominous poster
Graphic design legend Saul Bass, the man behind iconic film title sequences and movie posters and some of the most well-known corporate logos of the 20th century, needs no introduction.
Nor does Stanley Kubrick, an auteur so painfully perfectionist, "he had a hand in every aspect of his films, from development to exhibition (going as far as selecting a list of theaters he'd want his films to play in)".
Inevitable, their collaboration remains an important case study on creativity.
Saul Bass had created storyboards for Kubrick's Spartacus but their on-going written dialogue regarding the process of that bright yellow original poster for The Shining is as adventurous as one could imagine.
"This poster design wasn't a 'design and done' deal however," writes Derek Kimball in his post on the evolution of the image.
"Many of Bass' concepts were rejected by Kubrick before settling on the final design."
"I've read online that Kubrick made Bass go through at least 300 versions of the poster until finally ending on the extremely alien looking version we now know" commented Bobby Solomon, the man responsible for bringing this creative dialogue into the blogosphere as he took the photos provided while visiting a traveling art exhibit for Stanley Kubrick.
The rejected poster designs feature the handwritten notes by the director ( "title looks bad small," "too much emphasis on maze," "looks like science fiction film") and there is also a cover letter from Bass explaining what he sent, as well as Kubrick's response.
"I am excited about all of them," Bass writes with his signature (a caricature of his face on the body of a bass fish) being one of the funniest highlights in this insightful creation process that proves that good design is not an easy task to accomplish.