{inspiration} George Lois – He’s got big ol’ balls.



This May the Ad Industry will honor George Lois with a 2013 Clio Lifetime Achievement Award. According to Fast Company, While his career has extended over more than five decades, Lois most fondly remembers the 1960s, when he took part in the famous creative revolution of the time. “I talk to all the creative directors today, and they take me aside, and they say, ‘You know, it must have been great back in those days when you could do anything you wanted.’ I say, ‘Huh? Excuse me?’ I mean, we fought,” Lois says. “In the ’60s and ’70s you fought wars with clients, and you have to continue fighting wars to do great work.”

George Lois has a new book out, Damn Good Advice, which I plan to review soon. National Public Radio recently featured a short interview with George about the book. In the NPR interview Lois offers his formula for  great advertising. He explains that it is about the synergy of visuals married to unforgettable words—but the word or slogan must come first.

LOIS  “When I talk, and especially when I talk to young people, and I say that when you want to create advertising you should think in words first. They look at me stunned. They say no, no, you create these powerful visual images. Why would you think of copy first? I said because a line, slogan should be famous like I did later with I want my MTV. It’s one of the most famous slogans of all time.”


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They call him “the original mad man” but Lois is not a fan of the AMC series.



It’s hard to deny the resemblance to Don Draper but George Lois is not a fan of the show,  reported in an interview by  Brand DNA. Lois stated “When they announced that the show was going to be about ‘the incredible period of the advertising industry in the 1960s,’ everybody thought it was going to be about me. All over the world I’m called ‘the original mad man.’ My bitch about it is the fact that it’s a show about a bunch of scum bags. All they do is screw the secretaries, drink themselves to death, smoke themselves to death and produce piss advertising.”


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By far the best information I found on George Louis comes from this biography featured by AIGA. It highlights his extreme confidence and illustrates his arrogant, yet somehow lovable rise to legendary status. George earned the most distinguished honor in the field. The AIGA medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication.


While George has received his fair share of prestigious honors and accolades, there is still significant controversy surrounding some of his claims to have worked on several well known designs such as the famous ground breaking “Think Small” Volkswagen ad campaign, the Nickelodeon orange logo, and New York magazine. More information can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lois

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