Saul Bass's iconic logos

Marilyn sez, "I was surprised to discover that 12 famous logos were all designed by the same person, Saul Bass, who is better known for designing movie posters and the opening credits in movies. The logos are: Bass, AT&T, Avery International, Continental Airlines, United Way, Minolta, Girl Scouts, Quaker Oats, Kleenex, Exxon, Warner Communications (when they're all lined up like this you see a similarity in style)." Inspiration: Logos by Saul Bass (Thanks, Marilyn!)


  1. Actually, Raymond Loewy designed the Exxon logo…

    He also designed the logos for Shell, BP, Lucky Strike, Canada Dry, TWA, International Harvester, Pepsodent, Greyhound, Nabisco, Sealtest…

  2. I got to stay on the same floor of a hotel with Saul Bass one year at an AIGA conference. It was the smoking floor. I was the only one in my group who smoked, or would admit it. He and his lovely wife rode the elevator up and down with me several times. Very friendly and nice people. He is one of the most talented designers ever and I was so excited to be near him. Sometimes it pays to have bad habits!

  3. Saul Bass and Paul Rand are always prominently featured when I teach about the history of graphic design. Those dudes were the joint mayors of awesometown as far as I’m concerned.

    But who the heck is Saul Bell?

  4. …Bass made minimalism an effective advertising tool because he added something that UPA and Suburbia styling didn’t – a sense of symmetry that was visible and not implied. Add to that the fact that his blocky abstracts are easily viewable especially by those who’ve got really fracked eyesight, and still recognizeable for what they represent.

    …As others have noted over the years, one of the reasons people liked It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was Bass’ opening credits.

  5. …On a side note, it’s a testament to how effective his style was when you realize that, over a generation after the Bell System broke up/reconglomerated into AT&T, kids who weren’t even born back then associate the circle-and-bell logo with your local phone company.

  6. It is ironic that the article should confuse Bass and Bell. Bass Breweries’ red triangle logo is the oldest trademark in Britain, being registered in January 1876 [ ]

  7. Gotta say, I work at the airport, and that UA logo looks pretty darn dinky compared to most of the really awesome logos for the other airlines (Hawaiian, Alaska, Continental, Jet Blue…). I still love the AT&T logo but they need to update UA.

  8. Just to name another random brilliant person who hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves: Daniel Reeve. He designed the logos for the movies The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Narnia, and King Kong. Plus he did a huge percentage of the artwork, props, sets etc. for those movies and all the associated merchandising. But because it’s all work-for-hire for the studios, his name is hardly on anything.

    It’s cool that there exist people who like to attach names to the artwork, and logo design definitely takes real artistic talent.

  9. I never figured out how to pronounce his last name… is it like the instrument or the fish? (I honestly want to know.)

    PS. Great that Cory (or the Admin) changed the text from “Saul Bell” to “Saul Bass”, but is the first logo now really for “Bass” or has he just done a general search & replace? Or is he just being cheeky?

  10. Phase IV?! Dude! That was the last of the great 70’s [sic] intellectual science fiction movies.

    One wouldn’t connect that with symbolic representation, but perhaps one should…

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