George Lois, the American promoting and graphic design titan, died in his Manhattan house on Friday 18 November 2022. He was 91. His loss of life was confirmed by his son, Luke, to The New York Instances, and comes two months after the loss of life of his spouse, Rosemary, an artist whom he met on the primary day they attended Pratt Institute in September 1949, and to whom he was dearly devoted. They had been collectively for 71 years.
As an artwork director, Lois was as visionary as they arrive. From telling the world how simple it’s to work a Xerox machine (a monkey might do it), to turning a then-floundering MTV right into a pop-cultural phenomenon, and allegedly inspiring the character of Don Draper in Mad Males, Lois’ many achievements additionally embody making a decade’s price of groundbreaking US Esquire journal covers, 38 of that are within the everlasting assortment of New York’s Museum of Trendy Artwork. These iconic photographs embody Muhammad Ali as Saint Sebastian (‘He pointed to every of the arrows and named them after individuals who had been actually after him,’ Lois recounts) and Andy Warhol drowning in an enlarged can of Campbell’s tomato soup.
Recognized for his straight-talking, irreverent and irascible nature, Lois had an unrelenting ardour for graphic wit. All through his 60-year profession, he was behind quite a few promoting and artistic companies, wrote books about artwork path and promoting, and even collaborated with start-up manufacturers in his later years. He was an avid basketball participant and much more fervent collector, together with his private love of artwork and design mirrored in an extremely various private haul, from Tiffany lamps and Wiener Werkstätte furnishings to Native American artefacts and Japanese screens, expertly displayed all through his Greenwich Village condominium in New York Metropolis.
As a Wallpaper* Design Awards decide in 2016, he candidly shared his ideas on the Apple Watch, stating, ‘It’s an iPhone for well being nuts. It’s the sort of watch that you just put on and also you let everybody know that you just’re sporting it. I voted for it as a result of it’s going to be a scorching merchandise. It will likely be after this [story comes out].’
Amongst the numerous tributes on social media, the photographer Jeremy Liebman, who photographed Lois in 2011, remembers, ‘He was all the things I anticipated – brash, intense, playful, opinionated – and some issues I didn’t – type, collaborative, accommodating. He talked about his pick-up basketball video games and demonstrated how the Knicks had been horrible at rebounding and the way they need to have been doing it. It’s the primary and solely time I’ve ever been bodily shoved round by an 80-year-old, and I’ll cherish it without end.’