With Dave Brubeck’s jazzy “Unsquare Dance” playing in the background and references to some of the most famous film opening sequences ever created, Google’s 81-second tribute to graphic designer, animator and title sequence master Saul Bass released Wednesday is perhaps the best Google Doodle ever produced.
Bass, who died in Los Angeles in 1996, would have turned 93 years old on Wednesday.
Throughout his 40-year career in show business, Academy Award-winner Bass worked alongside some of the most prominent filmmakers of his time, including Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorcese, creating beautiful title sequences for more than 50 films.
The new Google Doodle pays homage to Bass by borrowing his best-known animated sequences and cleverly injecting the Google brand name into one beautiful, seamless clip.
The Google Doodle begins with shifting lines over the Google name – a reference to the opening sequence in “Psycho” – and then the Google name is pulled up from the bottom of the screen by the golden arm of a heroin addict – a sendoff to Otto Preminger’s “The Man With The Golden Arm.” The Google Doodle is chock filled with nods to the classic work from Saul Bass, including his credits on Kubrick’s “Spartacus,” Robbins’ and Wise’s “West Side Story,” Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and “North By Northwest,” Preminger’s “Anatomy of a Murder,” and finally ends with the globetrotting clock from Michael Anderson’s “Around The World In 80 Days.” We encourage you to watch the Google Doodle for Saul Bass in all its glory in the embedded video above.
Bass, who created the opening sequences and posters for those films, is also famous for the opening sequences of “Ocean’s 11,” “Cape Fear,” “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “Casino,” and even inspired the “falling man” title credits for AMC’s “Mad Men.”
Bass, who was born in the Bronx in 1920 to two Eastern European Jewish immigrants, also designed some of the most recognized corporate logos, including AT&T’s famous “bell” logo in 1969 and the company’s “globe” logo in 1983, as well as Continental Airlines’ “Jetstream” logo and United Airlines’ “tulip” logo, which he created in 1968 and 1974, respectively.