George Lois was featured in this weekend's NYT. With my long career in advertising and photography, reading about the giants of the industry often brings back memories of stories or incidents. Very often the stories have their origins in that most extraordinary of decades, the sixties. Here is a cover (scanned from the copy in my library) of his book called 'Covering the Sixties'.
My wife Alida was on a visit to New York in 1967 to sell my book 'African Image' to our publishers. While there, she met George Lois, a giant figure in the design and advertising world. Living in Johannesburg at the time, we were exposed to his work mainly through the iconic covers he produced for Esquire Magazine. George told Alida about his love of African Art and the slide show about him in the NYT opens with a portrait of him sitting in front of pieces from his collection. He lamented to her that he still didn't own an African pot because they were mostly fired at low temperatures and all too often arrived in the States broken. Art shipping methods have improved somewhat since the 60s but it is not uncommon to see African pots in collections that have been carefully repaired, like the piece in the image below.
Alida remembered that some of my Tungsten Lights had arrived in boxes that were cleverly designed to protect the contents by suspending one box inside another with strong rubber bands in each corner. So we sent George a pot, almost identical to the one in my photograph below, and it duly reached him in NY, totally undamaged.
George has brought out a new book in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, a visual celebration of American graphic culture called 'Iconic America'.