Few art directors have had a career like George Lois. He left Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1960 at 28 to start Papert Koenig Lois because he was convinced creatives needed to be in control of everything. That shop was the first major agency to have an art director's name on its door, and it was the first togo public. But Lois regretted that move because his partners started playing it safe. He soon had enough, and in 1967 he went off on his own. In between his groundbreaking ad work, Lois designed memorable conceptual covers for Esquire Magazine.
What's Lois secret? In his own words:
1. My first commandment: The word comes first, then the visual. 2. A trend is always a trap. 3. A Big Idea can change world culture. 4. Teamwork might work in building an Amish barn, but it can’t create a Big Idea. 5. To create great work, here’s how you must spend your time: 1% inspiration, 9% perspiration, 90% justification. 6. When you know a client is dead wrong about a marketing opportunity, create a brand name that blows his mind! 7. Make your surroundings a metaphor for who you are. 8. Research is the enemy of creativity--unless it’s your own "creative" research (heh-heh). 9. Creating advertising that is icon rather than con depends on the deep belief that your message is more than the purchase of a product or service.