Book Review: George Lois: The Esquire Covers

"It's a concept book -- by George"

George Lois, at the age of thirty-one, created his first Esky cover for the October 1962 issue. Over the next ten years he created another ninety-one (so there were twenty-eight he didn't design) and fifty-nine are shown here, just about life-size, too.

Like the covers, George has taken control of the book and done his own thing with the design: it starts inside the front cover; there is no real title page (instead a reproduction of an invitation to the MoMA Esquire cover exhibit); spread-wide photos of him are interspersed between the cover pages; some back pages are devoted to his ads and logos; plus a spread of covers of his eight idea books.

Look through the covers and you'll be amazed at how many are featured in books on design and continually pop up on the net. They are the perfect concept covers that visually sum up so many aspects of Sixties society. This kind of editorial design has more or less disappeared from mainstream consumer magazines which now depend equally on photos and headlines to fill the cover space.

Each cover is on a right-hand page with a GL commentary on the facing page and I was disappointed that items used in the 2008 MoMA show (contact sheets, artwork and other graphics) are not included with his text to make the book are much more interesting visual feast, so four stars.

The book is worth getting if you work in publication design and want a record of what was once possible on a national magazine cover.

George Lois: The Esquire Covers is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

George Lois: The Esquire Covers

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