by Liridona Mehmedovic.
Last month, advertising legend, George Lois visited City College as part of this semester’s Lunch with Leaders series. Lois, age 80, is celebrated for his big, splashy ideas. He helped put designer Tommy Hilfiger on the map and created the “I Want My MTV” ad campaigned that grabbed attention for the music cable channel.
But he may be best known for the 92 covers he designed for Esquire Magazine during its heyday. They were featured in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art several years ago.
Lois is also the only person inducted into all of the following: The Art Directors Hall of Fame, The One Club Creative Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Society of Publication Designers.
At the CCNY event, Lois, with his charming personality, provided students with insight from his tenth book titled Damn Good Advice. “It was an amazing experience having George Lois come and speak,” says MCA major Alex Aleman. “His work is one of the biggest inspirations for me going into advertising. I was lucky enough to meet him as he was walking to Shepard Hall, and his personality and colorful vocabulary do not disappoint.
Here, some excerpts from Lois’s visit:
Advertising is poison gas.
It should take you by surprise and knock you on your a**
Don’t expect a creative idea to pop off your computer.
A great idea takes time. Technology can overwhelm you.
A trend is always a trap.
“Someone asked me what do you think the trend of advertising will be next year? I said, I don’t know yet. I’ll know when I do it.”
Make your presence felt.
You need to be courageous and stand up for yourself. If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to say it.
Everything you touch should be the best thing you do.
Show your client the best work you can create. Don’t cheat yourself out of your creativity.