George Lois, Art Director

Illustration by  Jeffrey Phillips

Illustration by Jeffrey Phillips


George Lois is a legendary art director, designer, and author. Lois is perhaps best known for the 92 covers he designed for Esquire magazine from 1962 to 1972. Lois developed what he called "The Big Idea", the “I Want My MTV” campaign; helped create and introduce VH1, and was included in the Art Directors Hall of Fame, Advertising Hall of Fame, and Copywriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, The Museum of Modern Art exhibited 32 of Lois's Esquire covers. 


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by Platon

"Increasingly, Americans are objecting to our nation's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American soldiers, men and women, return in coffins, and many others return badly wounded and physiologically damaged. Platon embarked on taking a hard look at when they came back, physically and emotionally, and their loved ones who awaited them. His experiences while photographing these masterful photos are painfully heartbreaking, yet beautifully inspiring. Meanwhile, we are still fighting, and dying, in the Forever War."


The Decisive Moment,
by Henri Cartier Bresson

"Bresson pioneered the genre of street photography. He said, 'Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second...when your eye must see a composition or expression that life offers you...and you must know with intuition when to click the camera...that is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.'"


Passage: A Work Record,
by Irving Penn

"Penn once wrote, "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it; it is in one word, effective." Penn (called Penn, without his first name by all who knew him) proved to be a meticulous artist since his first Vogue cover in 1943. His work influenced my advertising career, and as a designer of Esquire covers (1962-1972)...not in content, but in the stark singularity of a creation that is expressed, and understood, in a nanosecond."