And the Oscar Goes to…

American graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass said, “Design is thinking made visual,” and he did just that. Working with Hitchcock, Preminger and Kubrick, among others, he often set the tone of films via title sequences and promotional posters.

With so much focus on the actors and actresses, the behind-the-scenes designers who bring the films to life are often overlooked. Without great design, Daniel Day-Lewis would have just been a tall man with a beard in Lincoln and Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables would be just another uprising.

Today, a new generation of designers is bringing writers’ and directors’ words and visions to life in costume, production and set design. This morning, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the list of nominees for the 85th Academy Awards and the competition is fierce.

Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina), Paco Delgado (Les Misérables), Joanna Johnston (Lincoln), Eiko Ishioka (Mirror Mirror) and Colleen Atwood (Snow White and the Huntsman) will vie for the honor of Best Costume Design.

For Production Design, the nominees are: Sarah Greenwood (Production Design) and Katie Spencer (Set Decoration) for Anna Karenina; Dan Hennah (Production Design) and Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration) for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Eve Stewart (Production Design) and Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration) for Les Misérables; David Gropman (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for Life of Pi; and Rick Carter (Production Design) and Jim Erickson (Set Decoration) for Lincoln.

These nominees are equally deserving, but unfortunately there is only one Oscar in each category. You and visit the official Oscar site to see the complete list of nominees and categories.

Interested in film design? You might be interested in:

Creativity for Graphic Designers by Mark Oldach
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Creative Careers in Hollywood by Laurie Scheer
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Design Dossier: The World of Design
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