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George Lois: Magazine Covers and Advertising Design

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 to Wednesday, August 31, 2011

George Lois was born on June 26, 1931, in the Bronx, New York City. He is a controversial American art director, designer, and author. Lois is best known for over 92 covers he designed for Esquire Magazine. The Esquire covers are considered among the most memorable propaganda imagery in any medium, and the most provocative in magazine design history from 1962 to 1972. His covers offered a controversial statement on life in the 1960s with subjects including Norman Mailer, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Germaine Greer, and Richard Nixon. In 2008, The Museum of Modern Art exhibited 32 of Lois’ Esquire covers.

Lois was born in New York City on June 26, 1931, the son of Greek immigrants. He attended the High School of Music and Art, and received a basketball scholarship to Syracuse University, though he chose to attend Pratt Institute where he attended for one year before working for Reba Sochis until he was drafted by the Army to fight in the Korean War six months later.

After the war, Lois worked for the advertising and promotions department at CBS. In 1959 he was hired by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). After one year at DDB, Lois formed Papert, Koenig, Lois (PKL), the first advertising agency to ever go public. In 1967 he left to form Lois, Holland, Callaway. His last agency, Lois/USA, which developed memorable campaigns for Minolta, Tourneau and The Four Seasons, ended its run in 1999.

George Lois is the only person in the world inducted into The Art Directors Hall of Fame, The One Club Creative Hall of Fame, with Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, as well as a subject of the Master Series at the School of Visual Arts.

Sponsored by Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

* This exhibition coincides with the Master Designer Workshop at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies July 24 through July 31.