There are a lot of ads today that are considered “visual pollution”. They lack in essence and there are some that are just too direct, that in the faintest engagement it’ll detonate like an atomic bomb causing an explosive chaos of color and scheme. The days of modernist- influenced ads have passed, where “direct”, “straightforward”, and “simple” meant differently from today’s definition.
Advertising before the digital age was very different. There was a lot of experimentation, addition, and subtraction of design elements. Though ads during the 1960s up to the 1990s were not as graphically explosive as the ads today, they had the essence of the ideal ad â€“ simple and intelligible. A well-known adman who was present throughout that timeline was George Lois
George Lois is the man behind different successful ads â€“ from MTV, VH1, and American Airlines to the ever iconic series of Esquire magazine covers. Aside from creating corporate identities and marketing ads, Lois also created different ads for politicians, which helped boost their campaigns.
These campaigns have been instrumental to Loisâ€™ clients. When the branding campaign he created for MTV in 1982 was aired, it became an instant hit and through the years many artists have been featured promoting the campaign. This prompted three decades of successful broadcasting and influence in the music industry. Here are some of George Lois works, ranging from advertising for Reebok and branding for MTV, to multiple projects with the Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) Ad Company.
A clear influence on Lois’ works is the presence of modernism, i.e., minimalism, and the use of copy/write-ups and typography. References to pop culture and pop art are later , as evidenced by his Esquire covers featuring Muhammad Ali posing as St. Sebastian to MTV’s corporate identity featuring The Rolling Stone’s iconic 40 Licks album cover
Known for his controversial works in different fields, George Lois has provided multiple iconic and high-impact advertising and branding campaigns that, until today, inspire advertisers and artists alike. If youâ€™re an aspiring marketer or ad man, check out his works and the impact it made on his clientâ€™s business. It will certainly help you, a lot.
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