The genesis of The Shining poster
Many thanks to the Fox is Black for running down to the Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and snapping these early mock ups of The Shining poster (saved me the trouble). Like our friend at Fox, I was also unaware that Saul Bass was responsible for the iconic finished design.
Bass had worked as a “pictorial consultant" on Spartacus, although the array of famous logos he designed for companies like Bell System and United Airlines was surely appealing to Kubrick (Bell shows up in 2001, doesn’t it?) That pudgy faced Quaker on your bag of oats? That’s also one of his, although Bass is more celebrated for his film work, having created posters for The Man With the Golden Arm, The Magnificent Seven, and Vertigo, among others.
That last film also included one of Bass’s many classic title sequences, as did North by Northwest, while he’s also widely credited with “directing" the shower sequence in Psycho—at least in the sense that Hitchcock hewed so faithfully to the storyboard Bass devised. Then there’s his actual directorial debut with the stunning 1974 revenge-of-the-ants sci-fi flick, Phase IV, and... I could go on and on.
Anyway, interesting to see where he was going with early ideas for The Shining. Are those Kubrick’s handwritten notes? I tried to cross-reference with these shots of Kubrick’s marginalia in his copy of the novel (coz I’m ridiculous), but I couldn’t tell for sure.