George Lois - Esquire Magazine Covers and Advertising Design


Artist Link: George Lois

George Lois (b.1931) is the most creative, controversial, and prolific advertising communicator of our time. Running his own ad agencies, he is renowned for dozens of marketing miracles that triggered innovative and populist changes in American (and world) culture. In his twenties he was a pioneer of the landmark Creative Revolution in American Advertising. He introduced and popularized the Xerox culture; he created the concept and prototype design for the New York supplement for the Herald Tribune (the forerunner of New York magazine); made a failing MTV a huge success with his “I Want My MTV” campaign; helped create and introduce VH1; created a new marketing category, Gourmet Frozen Foods, with his name Lean Cuisine; and (by inventing yet another new marketing phenomenon) persuaded America to change their motor oil at thousands of Jiffy Lube stations. He made the totally unknown Tommy Hilfiger immediately famous with just one ad; and saved USA Today from extinction with his breakthrough “singing” TV campaign. In 1994, almost overnight, he changed the perception of ESPN from a “Demolition Derby” sports channel to the number one sports network with his dynamic “In Your Face” campaign. Additionally he created the winning ad campaigns for four U.S. Senators: Jacob Javits (R-NY); Warren Magnuson (D-WA); Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-PA); Robert Kennedy (D-NY). His list of breakthrough ad campaigns goes on and on. The only music video he created, Jokerman by Bob Dylan, won the MTV Best Music Video of the Year Award in 1983. And in 2008, the Museum of Modern Art installed 38 of his iconic Esquire covers in its permanent collection, celebrated by a year-long exhibit: George Lois: The Esquire Covers @ MoMA.

Photographs image of George Lois leaning onto a wall with copies of his designs mounted on the gallery walls
Esquire magazine cover - May 1969 - Andy Warhol getting sucked into a Campbell's tomato soup can

Esquire magazine cover - May 1969 - Andy Warhol in Campbell's soup can ©George Lois/Esquire

Photographic faces of Bob Dylan, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro quartered and collaged together

Esquire magazine cover - September 1965 - Bob Dylan, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro ©George Lois/Esquire

Photographic image of female actress with shaving cream on her face with a straight razor.

Esquire magazine cover - March 1965 - Virni Lisi, about to debut in 'How to Murder Your Wife' with Jack Lemmon ©George Lois/Esquire

Photographic image of Richard Nixon's profile while having makeup applied

Esquire magazine cover - A classic composite cover satirizing Richard Nixon in his run up to the 1968 election ©George Lois/Esquire

Photographic image of Sonny Liston, a black man, wearing a Santa Claus hat.

Esquire magazine cover - December 1963 - Sonny Liston becomes the first black Santa ©George Lois/Esquire

Photographic image of John F. Kennedy's face with a hand with a tissue wiping away a tear.

Esquire magazine cover - June 1964 - trompe l'oeil cover of John F. Kennedy in tears ©George Lois/Esquire