What do the films A Streetcar Named Desire, Dial M for Murder, Bonnie and Clyde, Bullitt, A Clockwork Orange, The Sting, Dirty Harry, and Unforgiven all have in common? Designer Bill Gold is the answer. With work spanning seven decades, Bill Gold has been the man behind some of the most eye-catching movie posters, which remain iconic pieces of artwork today.
Gold’s posters have an ability to capture a whole film in just one image. His ability to adapt to whatever brief he was given has kept Gold at the top of his game for an incredible 70+ years. Often, his posters are only the lasting impression of a film that many would get. In November 2010, the limited edition compendium, Bill Gold: Posterworks, was issued with a foreword from long time collaborator and friend Clint Eastwood.
From boyhood, Bill knew he wanted to be an artist. After graduating from Pratt Institute on a scholarship, he got a job in the poster department at Warner Bros. New York office. As a young art director, he could hardly have imagined how celebrated and world-renowned his first two projects would become. The assignments? Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca. Soon afterward, he enlisted in the army where he created WWII training films for the Army Air Corps. After the war, Bill returned to Warner Bros., and in the late 1950s headed west to LA to work on the Warner lot. That’s where he created advertising campaigns for such movies as Giant, Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, The Searchers and Gypsy. A true New Yorker, Bill came back east a few years later and set up his own shop: Bill Gold Advertising. For 70+ years, Bill Gold truly defined the genre of movie poster advertising. Funny Girl, My Fair Lady, The Exorcist, A Clockwork Orange, On Golden Pond, Unforgiven, The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon and Mystic River are just a few of the thousands of films he would be associated with. In the late ‘70s Bill began concentrating more on his work with Clint Eastwood. By the mid ‘80s Bill decided to dedicate all his time to Clint. From Dirty Harry to Mystic River, and coming out of retirement to work on J Edgar in 2011, the result has been an amazing and lasting five-decade collaboration between two legends.
Just to name a few awards…in 1994, Bill was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Hollywood Reporter. In March 2013, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Pratt Institute. He has also been named one of Pratt Institute’s Most Memorable 125 Icons.
Bill is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Society of Illustrators and The Art Directors Club.
Made at the tip of Africa. ©