George Lois and The Esquire Covers and an Eames 670 Posted January 1, 2007 by Daniel Ostroff
The Eames 670: what a perfect chair for legendary adman GEORGE LOIS who is celebrated in the January 2007 issue of VANITY FAIR along with a biographic portrait of his brave patron, 1960s Esquire Magazine editor Harold Hayes.
Legendary adman GEORGE LOIS is celebrated in the January 2007 issue of VANITY FAIR along with a biographic portrait of his brave patron, 1960s Esquire Magazine editor Harold Hayes.
Photographer Timothy Galfas took this fantastic action photo of George Lois, sitting in an unmistakable and delightfully wrinkled Eames 670.
Here’s one of many classic Esquire covers designed by George Lois.
EAMES SPOTTING is particularly pleased to celebrate the association between a classic Eames design and a man of such dazzling design creativity in his own right. You can read the entire article, entitled THE ESQUIRE DECADE in the January 2007 issue of VANITY FAIR.
We call your attention to the following excerpt from this article: “So, with his ginger suede wing tips up on the desk and an inscrutable smile on his face, [Esquire’s editor] Hayes picked up the phone and placed a call to the man who did Esquire’s covers, a Runyonesque character named George Lois who swore like a longshoreman but exuded the confidence of a shipping magnate. Lois did not work at Esquire, or even in publishing. He ran one of the most sought-after advertising agencies in the business—Papert, Koenig, Lois, which he’d formed in 1960 after blazing trails as an art director at Doyle Dane Bernbach. But, back in 1962, after a lunch with Hayes at the Four Seasons Restaurant, Lois had taken on the job of designing Esquire’s covers in between servicing such agency clients as Xerox and Dutch Masters cigars.
To a magazine industry that, like the rest of the culture, was still throwing off the dull, mannered strictures of the 50s, Hayes’s arrangement with Lois was shocking. Admen sold soap, not magazines. But provocation, on many levels, was exactly what Hayes sought. Since taking the reins of Esquire two years earlier, he had pushed to make every column inch of the magazine sing with a brash authority that made news and upset the powers that be. In Lois, he had struck gold. Here was someone who could articulate that irreverence—in visual terms—on the most important page of the magazine. Once a month, Hayes provided Lois with the editorial lineup and his thoughts about what that issue’s cover story might be. And then Hayes did what he did with his writers: he stepped back and let Lois do his thing.
Given that December was the biggest issue of the year, however, Hayes exerted a little extra finesse once he got Lois on the phone. “George? Hey, buddy, I could really use a Christmasy cover for December,” he told Lois in his elegant North Carolinian accent. The ad-sales guys were putting his feet to the fire.
“You got it,” replied Lois, who, after some brainstorming, got on the phone with photographer Carl Fischer. According to the soft-spoken Fischer, the conversation began as it usually did when Lois called with one of his Esquire cover concepts: “I got a wild idea! Listen to this crazy idea!” the adman told the photographer in his staccato Bronx growl.