One of the inspirations behind Mad Men’s Don Draper (much to his dismay), George Lois was a key figure in the creative revolution in the Sixties, but is perhaps most well-known for his legendary covers for US Esquire from that era. Sonny Liston dressed as Santa Claus. Muhammad Ali shot through with arrows like Saint Sebastian. Andy Warhol drowning in a can of Campbell’s Soup. All George’s work.
With his new book out (Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent!)), we asked if he’d like to turn back the clock and design us a cover. We were thrilled when he agreed, and the result is an unforgettable shot of Lois himself in a gas mask illustrating a famous phrase he used on a US TV chat show in the 80’s: “Advertising should be poison gas! It should bring tears to your eyes, unhinge your nervous system and knock you out!”
George says of the collaboration: "Working with ShortList reminded me of my unique relationship with the great Esquire editor Harold Hayes, when I created his covers way back in the 1960s. Get the idea, and bada-bing-bada-boom! Fresh, memorable, exciting. No group grope. No analysis paralysis. (That's the epitome of the creative process.)"
George is a legend in the magazine and advertising worlds, and a no-nonsense Bronx guy who we think our readers will love to discover. Both in his work, and as a human being, he’s an inspiration. To have a ShortList cover designed by George Lois is an honour.
- Martin Robinson (Editor)