If you watch classic Hitchcock films like North By Northwest and Vertigo and wonder why movies don't have spectacular title sequences like that anymore, it's because Saul Bass is no longer around to make them. Bass, who would be 93 years old today, was the title sequence designer who made title sequences an art form, bringing Hollywood into the modern age in the 50s and 60s and creating bold, iconic and abstract images that defined the films as much as the directors themselves did.
In today's Google Doodle, which you can see by visiting the Google homepage or just watching the video above, they pay tribute to Bass by referencing nine of his films, including three Hitchcock classics-- Psycho, North by Northwest and Vertigo-- plus Spartacus, West Side Story, Around the World in 80 Days and more. According to The Washington Post the design team was lead by Matt Cruickshank, who's also contributing to the new Golden Book that will accompany Monsters University-- so there's the Pixar-Saul Bass connection you've always wanted.
If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, this probably isn't the first time you've seen someone paying slavish homage to Bass-- in a world where everyone can re-design posters for their favorite movies and put them online, Bass has become a major inspiration, to the point that some of us are begging for it to stop. It's not just the fan posters though. In recent years films as varied as In The Loop, Precious and even the biopic Hitchcock referenced Bass's work. Nice to know that the folks at Google-- who are all about simple design with pops of color, after all-- appreciate the man's legend as well.