Design Inspiration

Saul Bass title sequences/movie posters and Dreamworks “Catch Me If You Can” title sequence/book cover 

"West Side Story" (Saul Bass Poster) 1961

Saul Bass, “West Side Story” 1961

Kuntzel Deygas Dreamworks title sequence

Saul Bass possessed the ability to create striking movie posters and title sequences with simplified characters and seamless type/image integration, his work has inspired many filmmakers, illustrators, and graphic designers. Steven Spielberg wanted to have a 60’s feeling in the title sequence of Catch Me If You Can, Kuntzel Deygas from Nexus Studios used traditional media techniques to channel Bass’s action-filled brand of storytelling. The movie was released in 2002 and is based on the book written by Frank W. Abagnale and Stan Redding originally published in 1980. Two later versions were published in America the 2002 release was a movie tie in with cover art by BLT & Associates/David Sammeth for Dreamworks.

Saul Bass created countless iconic movie posters, the popular colour combinations used in his work are replicated in Deygas’s title sequence. The viewer can see a clear connection in the type integration and simplification of characters. The colour changes also strongly hint towards Bass’s 1961 title sequence from West Side Story which I have attached below. The linework and simplified figures coupled with Bass’s colour choices create a dynamic I’ve attached multiple reference images of Saul Bass movie posters which reinforce the connection between his work and the Dreamworks Catch Me If You Can title sequence/book cover, Bass’s clear influence is visible in many film designs today.

Saul Bass, Vertigo 1958

Saul Bass, Vertigo 1958

Saul Bass, The Man With The Golden Arm 1955

Saul Bass, The Man With The Golden Arm 1955

Book Cover Design, BLT & Associates/David Sammeth for Dreamworks. 2002

Book Cover Design, BLT & Associates/David Sammeth for Dreamworks. 2002

Saul Bass, Anatomy of a Murder 1959

Saul Bass, Anatomy of a Murder 1959

Bass, Saul. “West Side Story Title Sequence 1961.” YouTube, 10 Oct. 2014,

Deygas, Kuntzel. Nexus Studios, Dreamworks 2002, 17 Apr. 2018,

Design Inspiration

Self Portrait in Two Dimensions, Kazimir Malevich, 1915

Self Portrait in Two Dimensions, Kazimir Malevich, 1915

Founded in 1913, Kazimir Malevich created a modern art movement in Russia that associated with the current Revolution. He was mainly inspired by poets and literary critics, anything involving writing and language. Malevich connected the unpredictability of shape placement in this kind of art to the idea of placing words together and wanting to communicate art in a similar manner that language is communicated. Suprematism was overall a method of abstraction and did not focus on looking like a piece of art. It focused on making clear  geometric shapes and emphasizing the medium used as well as placing the shapes in a way that communicates their desired message. In the piece shown by Malevich in 1915, he is trying to communicate a self portrait to represent himself as an artist, but it is near impossible to tell at first glance if you do not understand his perspective and method. Suprematist art was highly subjective and could be interpreted in many ways.

April Greiman, Cal Arts Viewbook, 1979

April Greiman, Cal Arts Viewbook, 1979

Later on around the 1980’s, a new movement called New Wave Typography was emerging and quickly became popular with the rise of Pastiche and Punk. This movement was mainly inspired by Swiss Style, but as Wolfgang Weingart states he took it to the next level by blowing it even further out of proportion. New Wave type was all about breaking the grid, using geometric shapes, and having a playful colour palette, evidently shown in April Greiman’s Cal Arts Viewbook. In a similar manner, suprematism was also all about making an abstraction of geometric shapes which shows clear inspiration towards the New Wave typography movement. The spontaneity of shapes, the rotations of type, etc. all demonstrate what looks like a modernized version of suprematism. The way the designs are created are also like Suprematism – instead of being inspired by writing and poetry, they are typically inspired by music especially punk and electronic. These pieces represent the sound, just like Suprematist artists create their pieces based on how they interpret the tone/meaning of a writing piece.

Works Cited

“Suprematism Movement Overview.” The Art Story,

The New Wave of Graphic Design,

Tate. “Suprematism – Art Term.” Tate,

Design Inspiration: Historical vs. Contemporary Movie Posters by Ashley Mozo


Heinz Schulz-Neudamm, Metropolis poster, 1926


Black Panther, 2018 ~ Jeff Bridges, Tron: Legacy, 2010 ~ Bob Peak, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1979

As graphic design progressed, so did the treatment of visual culture around the world. The influence of design is not only limited to the current times of a certain style’s existence, but extends throughout the dense history and its future impact. From posters to prints, magazines to novels, and navigation to logos, graphic design is essential in world understanding, the articulation of technique, and visual representation of expression.

Following the history of German movie posters, their appearance strongly influenced the movie posters of even todays motion picture appearance. After the loss of Germany and Austria during World War 1, Germany quickly declined and faced economic hardship and political disability. This resulted in German currency diminishing in worth, forcing its citizens to search for available jobs. As the German Empire ended, design and the Bauhaus school of art rose to success. In the attempt to modernizing the world, Germany looked towards design and prints in order to regain stability and clarity. It was during this time when film was introduced to mass media, this included the German expressionist science-fiction film Metropolis. In 1927, the poster release for the film showcases a robot woman situated in the foreground while surrounded by an array of buildings and spotlights, while the title Metropolis is written in a bold and sharp font above. The expressionist approach showcases the theme of technology and its role within an industrial society, revealing the film’s overall subject matter and narrative.

The visual direction for the Metropolis became known for its beautiful approach and powerful designs, resulting in such an immense impact for future movie posters. Movies such as Star Trek, Tron: Legacy, and Black Panther are just a few of today’s movies who suggest their inspiration through their poster designs. The themes of technology are evident in their futuristic quality. Metropolis showcases the modernity of the city in its architectural background while the female robot is the main figure of the composition. The other three posters also feature technology in both their appearance and the movie portrayal, where the setting is taking place during a time of increased technological advances. Aside from the subject matter of the movies, all four of their appearances offer extremely similar compositions. They all possess vertical compositions and symmetrical layouts as well as elements of light. They also showcase characters of the movie with their gazes locked towards the viewers with intent or almost challenging their eye-contact. Not only do the images connect, but the typefaces also associate with one another. Similar to the poster of Metropolis, Star Trek, Tron: Legacy, and Black Panther incorporate typefaces for their titles that correlate to the theme of the movie, especially in an angular and stylized style.

Graphic design is and always will be essential within visual culture. Comparing the Metropolis poster with the posters of Star Trek, Tron: Legacy, and Black Panther shows the great impact and strong influences of graphic design history among contemporary art. Despite the large time gap between the posters, the corresponding themes, compositions, visual elements, character positioning, and expressive type demonstrates how earlier designs can serve as source for the future of graphic design.

Works Cited

Stephen J. Eskilson. “The Arts and Crafts Movement.” Graphic Design: A New History, Second Edition. Yale University Press, 2012. 50-53. Print.


yankee260. “Metropolis Movie POSTER 27 x 40, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, B, LICENSED NEW.” EBay, Magnum Gifts, 21 Mar. 2019,

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).” Original Film Art – Vintage Movie Posters,

Design Inspiration – Angelica Cortez

Jan Tschichold, The Professional Photographer exhibition poster, 1938

Jan Tschichold was a German typographer, calligrapher, designer and author, influential in the evolution of 20th century typography. After being acquainted with modernist design at the Bauhaus exhibition in 1923, he joined the movement and this change heavily impacted his following work. Characteristics of the Bauhaus include techniques that are later established as new typography principles such as negative space, asymmetrical typography, sans serif typefaces, no caps, clean modern design and minimalism. Jan Tschichold created “The Professional Photographer exhibition poster” (Der Berufsphotograph, Sein Werkzeug-Seine Arbeiten) in 1938 that showcased these principles. It uses a solarized/inverted photo, an example of typo-photo where the negative image is seen rather than the positive. This photography poster does not focus on the woman herself but the technique of photo manipulation and the abstract composition. Primary colours are used in gradation, reflecting on the idea of light in photography. This poster also utilizes lowercase sans serif type and communicates a clear idea through the combination of text and image. This historical graphic design has inspired contemporary graphic design as these new typography principles are still continually being employed in posters, magazines and overall digital graphic design. Jan Tschichold’s ‘The Professional Photographer exhibition poster’ 1938, is a clear dynamic representation of combining text and image to communicate a message while still remaining visually modern and minimalist. The poster highlights the technical aspects of photography and breaks the barriers of traditional typography structures. This makes way for future designers to push the boundaries further and take on more creative risks.

Jan Tschichold’s “The Professional Photographer exhibition poster” design served as a source for these later designs as it is the basis of a contemporary layout that is successful in communicating its message. It displays text and image in a simple yet modern way, a common goal in today’s graphic design. The first example “Ai Weiwei at Cycladic”, Exhibition poster focuses on a black and white image as well, but places it in the center of the composition. Instead of no caps like Tschichold’s piece, it uses both all caps and upper and lower case type. Although there are clear layout differences, the modern principles of using sans serif typefaces and clear negative space are being used. It also uses no ornamentation and focuses heavily on text and image. The second example is more experimental but is similar to Tschichold’s poster as it displays asymmetrical typography, sans serif typefaces, unique imagery and a modern composition. It varies from Tschichold’s poster as it uses coloured photography with both vertical and horizontal orientations. Both postmodern examples of exhibition posters represent Tschichold’s impact on typographic compositions and the constant developments in design. Jan Tschichold’s  “The Professional Photographer exhibition poster” from 1938 along with his many other influential design work, serves as inspiration to future designers to continue to innovate and push the boundaries of traditional layouts.

Ai Weiwei at Cycladic, Exhibition poster © Museum of Cycladic Art. 

Art school Bergen – Exhibition Catalogue. 2015 by Tobias Faisst

Works Cited

Behance. “Art School Bergen- Exhibition Catalogue.” Behance, Sept. 2015,

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Jan Tschichold.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Mar. 2019,

“Greece Meets China in the Ai Weiwei at Cycladic Exhibit.” Yatzer, 15 June 2016,

Tschichold, Jan. “Jan Tschichold. Der Berufsphotograph, Sein Werkzeug-Seine Arbeiten. 1938 | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,



Design inspiration



The first image I am analyzing is the left image: Gustav Klutsis – Workers, everyone must vote in the Election of Soviets!

It is one of the many examples of the constructivist movement. Popular in early 20th century Russia this artistic movement sought to represent governmental views with hard and angular constructive design, influenced by mass production techniques. This was often utilized as a form of propaganda with the text in the image explaining the governments overall goal, in this particular instance it is attempting to get the Soviet people to vote (for the particular party they want of course). The composition here is a photo collage mixed in with typographic elements, faces and hands are creating one form out of the right-hand corner of the piece meant to represent the people actively voting in the soviet election. The color scheme is classic red and white which is in line with the strong bold colors the constructivist movement was known for. Another thing to note is the use of angles in the image and text as that was another important aspect of Russian constructivism.




Sheppard Fairey – OBEY print

Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the local skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse “OBEY sticker campaign while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. His work as he has stated in past is directly inspired by classic propaganda posters, his OBEY campaign was expanding on that idea of the conformity we face in modern society. Composition wise we see the clear inspiration but also the more contemporary feel in Fairey’s work. Both compositions utilize hand and play with collage elements, Fairey’s piece has a bit more contrast in utilizing a darker black tone but he loses some of the subtlety that Klutis’ piece has with faces hiding in the collage. We can also see how Faireys iteration plays with strong bold lines, very reminiscent of the constructivist era. The colors are similar with Fairey’s piece having more of a crème color than a pure white. The background however is more reminiscent of a Japanese sunburst graphic than anything from the Soviet movement. Through this comparison we can clearly see the inspiration these propaganda posters have on modern design, even in a democratic society we are still aware of the way that consumerism can have a negative effect on many aspects of life. This fact is something that allows this reinvented propaganda work to flourish in a form not controlled by any form of government.







Design Inspiration


2012 Summer Olympics logo, designed by brand firm Wolff Olins

The Mud Bath 1914 David Bomberg 1890-1957 Purchased 1964

The Mud Bath 1914 David Bomberg 1890-1957 Purchased 1964

A simple logo with shapes that construct “2012” was the design outcome from the British branding firm Wolff Olins. The firm explained they wanted to show that the Olympics can be for everyone through this logo, however, it was met with a mixed reaction. This design seems to be reminiscent of the design aesthetics from the modernist movement Vorticism. Alongside many avant-garde movements in the early 20th century, Vorticism was a movement exclusive to England – especially London. It is often referred to as the British version of Futurism, they relied on the machine aesthetic to propose a utopian worldview. The movement’s name derives from vortex due to the diagonal lines in Vorticist works that seem to evoke the dynamics of a vortex.

The painting “Mud Bath” by artist David Bomberg, displays the most common principles of Vorticist art: the reduction of forms into geometric shapes and movement. Wolff Olins’ logo takes these principles and applies it to the logo, reducing the number “2012” into jagged, geometric forms. Like the moving and seemingly tilting figures in Bomberg’s piece, Wolff Olins’ logo is also angular and tilted. Bomberg and Wolff Olins’ pieces shares the colour convention of the use of bold and saturated colours. The 2012 Olympics logo comes in four variations of colour (light blue, orange, green, and pink) in which these colours are saturated, while Bomberg’s work contains saturated blues and reds.

Perhaps it is not only the design conventions that are shared between these two works. It is that both works were created under the passion to show the modernity of the world and the desire to break boundaries through the unconventional.



2012 Summer Olympics logo:
“The Mud Bath”, David Bomberg:

Design Inspiration

Jurriaan Schrofer - The social sciences, Problems and orientations, 1968

Jurriaan Schrofer – The social sciences, Problems and orientations, 1968


 Trio-Reclameboek cover 1931

Piet Zwart, Trio-Reclameboek cover 1931

The Circle of New Advertising Designers was a group formed by Kurt Schwitters and was later joined by  Jan Tschichold in 1927. This group formulated the principles of The New Typography. It was structured around these principles in their works: asymmetric balance of elements (rejection of the traditional rules of typographic symmetry), sans serif typography, intentional white space and content designed by hierarchy. This group included major themes of modernism such as Dada design and also uses a verbal and visual rhetoric. This group’s use of experimental typography (degradation of typography) and innovations was a response to new printing technologies that permitted designers to break free from the confines of the traditional.

Piet Zwart’s Trio-Reclameboek cover is an example of these principles where the use of white space, sans serif, hierarchy through the size and asymmetric placement of type and by including the primary colors. His experimental work showcases how he rejects the conventions of traditional typography which gives it a sense of movement. In contemporary design, Jurriaan Schrofer’s The social sciences, Problems and orientations in 1968 showcases influences from the New Typography principles where he experiments with typography and overlaps with one another. Although he did not play too much with size, he uses colour for hierarchy. However, Schrofer still follows some kind of grid in his work.

Works Cited (2019). New Typography. (2019). Tschichold’s New Typography.


designers, c. (2019). circle of new advertising designers. (2019). Biography Schrofer – Memory of the Netherlands.


Susan Kare, Macintosh Icons, 1984

Related image

Masaru Katsumi, Pictograms for the Tokyo Olyimpics, 1964

Image result for masaru katsumi tokyo olympics

With the invention of computers, a product that was becoming an international phenomenon, a universal language was needed to be created. Something that communicated through a screen with no explanation needed. Susan Kare took on this challenge and excelled. She created pixelated pictograms for the new Macintosh computers. These pictograms were able to visually communicate what each icon did if you were to click on it. No matter who you were, or where you come from, your able to understand the icons at first glance.

We can’t give all the credit to Susan though, because underneath these icons lies an influence that dates back 20 years ago.

The 1964 Olympics were approaching and the assigned graphic design team for the event knew that a mass international crowd was planning on attending this event. This lead Masaru Katsumi and Yusaku Kamekurar on the path to find a universal language that breaks the barrier of language and culture. This gave brith to the first set of pictograms to be used graphically in this type of system and dialogue.

Both these pieces cut through a barrier of language and culture. Their designs were able to be understood internationally without hesitation. A new systematic language of pictograms has been created and a new revolution of graphic design emerged.



Lange, Alexandra, and Alexandra Lange. “The Woman Who Gave the Macintosh a Smile.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2018,

Douglas, Ava. “Masaru Katsumi.” History of Graphic Design,


Design Inspiration (Krystina Levitski)


Volkswagen Car Commercial


Mercedes-Benz catalog cover, Max Bittrof, 1929


Bauhaus Exhibition poster, Joost Schmidt, 1923

The 1929 Mercedes-Benz catalog cover by Max Bittrof is an example of New Typography style, influenced from the Bauhaus style. The poster shows a slanted and dynamic graphic made up of both rectangles and circles. The three colours used in the poster are bright and stand out. This poster shows clear influences from the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition poster by Joost Schmidt. Both posters feature slanted black rectangles and circles. Both posters also feature all capital sans serif type following the direction of the graphic. Although both posters are very similar, the 1929 Mercedes-Bens cover uses more colours and is aimed in a more commercial direction. 

Looking at the Volkswagen car commercial there are many similarities and influences from the Mercedes-Benz cover, including the subject matter: cars. Looking at both posters they have a diagonal direction which creates a dynamic composition. The compositions also use a combination of rectangles and circles, a signature of the original Bauhaus style, featuring both thick and thin widths. This use of the two simple shapes helps create a simple yet dramatic graphic. Furthermore both posters use a bold black colour which highlights the movement of the diagonal. Lastly both posters use sans serif type. 

Although both posters have many similarities, the Volkswagen advertisement has some subtle differences which give it a more contemporary style. Unlike both the Mercedes-Bens and Bauhaus posters which place their design within the margins in the middle of the page, the Volkswagen poster graphics are cropped off the page. The Volkswagen poster also uses less dynamic colours, unlike the bold red and blue in the Mercedes-Benz cover. Furthermore the type used in the Volkswagen is both capital and lowercase as well as different weights. Unlike the other two posters, the type is not literally included in the graphic composition, rather it is placed on its own n the left side. Although it is on its own it is still sensitive to the composition as the rag follows the diagonal rectangle. 

When looking at all three posters, there is a clear influence starting from the Bauhaus Exhibition posters to the Mercedes-Benz catalog cover, all leading up to the Volkswagen commercial. All the posters share distinct similarities yet all three have characteristic differences which represent their movement. 

Works Cited

Images taken from:, Lecture 8 VISD-2006-002 (Slide 23).

Krystina Levitski 3161898

Design Inspiration-I Want You!- Megan Moore

During the late 19th and early 20th century, governments all over the world began using propaganda posters in unfathomable quantities. WWI and WWII brought an urgency to designers across the globe to recruit the most people for the war effort. However, it didn’t take long for them to realize that it wasn’t the amount of posters you plastered across towns-rather how efficiently the poster spoke directly to those people.

I Want YOU For the U.S. Army

Images of a man with wispy white hair and a star-spangled top hat were commonplace throughout both World Wars. He points towards the audience with the kind of conviction that assures the viewer of his message. “I want YOU,” he says, “for U.S Army.” They are reassured; they are needed; their government needs them; they are significant. All propaganda is capitalized prejudice. The emotional premise in which it rests upon is the ultimate motivation. Simply put, this kind of advertisement and graphic design is an emotional transfer. To do so, they associate the viewer with similarity, use, or the casual relationship. However, despite his popularity, Uncle Sam wasn’t anything new or special. He worked so well because his creator, James Montgomery Flagg, had seen the trials and triumphs of his “pointing poster” predecessors. All of which use the same accused pose to feel as if they are speaking directly to you, making you feel not only wanted, but guilty about not being there now.

Britons wants youanonymous

A very similar poster came hot off the press in 1914 Britain. This one featured Lord Kitchener, the text reading “Britons wants you!” and “join your country’s army!”. Soon after that, in 1917, Italy’s anonymous soldier took the forefront of the streets. And just 2 years after that Germany did the same with their 1919 army recruiting poster.


We can use the popularized poster of Uncle Sam as an example of color theory in use (figure one). Though there are many different versions of this particular print, the caricature is a fairly simple, consistent one: an older man, wearing a blue hat and jacket, with simple red text underneath that reads, “I want you for U.S Army. The hat is covered in stars, reminiscent of the American flag, and the word “you” in the text is emphasized in both shape and a slight variation in the shade and opacity of red. If we are to interpret red as Olsen suggests, a color that inspires urgency and correction, and blue as reassuring, the meaning becomes evident. Uncle Sam’s message is meant to be read urgently. There is a need for recruits. But Uncle Sam is supposed to be viewed as a reassuring figure; older, wiser, and as a mentor, perhaps. The viewer is supposed to feel that he is being advised in his best interest and in the best interest of his country. The audience is both being urged and comforted simultaneously. We see this strategic use of color in early advertising as well.

This has secondary purpose. Not only does propaganda aim to guide the viewer to feel a certain way, it also attempts to convey subliminal messages which the viewer then internalizes or rejects. By appealing to emotional logic, which is the process of forming conclusions based on how a person feels, rather than based on evidence, propaganda can present subtle messages that reinforce that a certain idea is more correct than another. This can be especially dangerous if the messages being presented are not critically analyzed.

As demonstrated at many points through history, propaganda can be an incredibly effective method of integrating values and ideals into a society. Though there have been many examples of propaganda being used for a negative purpose, it is not inherently bad. Propaganda simply aims to convey a message or opinion, it cannot make us believe or accept the messages being shown to us.

These are arguably the sorts of messages we should be applying to our lives and our communities, however, like any view point, it is crucial to be critically engaging with the ideas presented to us, and not to simply and blindly accept them. According to George Creel, “paper bullet’s won the war”. I disagree. Paper bullets might have influenced the war, but it was the sacrifices and decisions of people- men, women, and children, who believed in their own respective causes- that ultimately led us to victory.