Legendary Designer George Lois Is Tired of Magazine Covers With Famous People and Headlines

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A George Lois cover.

George Lois, the designer behind some of Esquire's most iconic covers (38 of which reside at MoMA), has some choice words for the magazine industry. He tells BlackBook in a lengthy rant:


“Look at Vogue. Oh my God. Vogue and Harper’s once were very well designed magazines. I mean they were exciting to look at. You could not give a shit about fashion and be excited by the whole look of the magazine. You look at Vogue now: it’s not even designed. What a difference. You pick up a Vogue back in the days of [Condé Nast’s Alexander] Lieberman and those guys, and you look at it now, and it’s a disgrace."

How refreshing — a critique of magazines that doesn't attack brazen use of Photoshop. Lois wishes magazines had more white space and fewer headlines on the covers. “Why do you put all those cover lines on? They say, ‘Well, if I don’t get somebody interested in this one, I’ll get somebody interested in that one,’" he adds.


“Meanwhile you go to a newstand, there’s about 200 magazines that all look the same. They got pictures of somebody — some asshole — I’ll never understand how editors and publishers think — showing just a famous person with blurbs all over their face. I’ll never understand why they think that would be something people would want to buy. I don’t get it."

We were thinking the exact same thing today when, glancing absentmindedly at the stack of magazines on our desk, we noticed Sarah Jessica Parker is on the cover of this month's Elle and next month's Glamour. Why is she on so many covers all of a sudden? we asked ourselves. Then we remembered she has that movie coming out about abandoning her yuppie lifestyle to live in the wilderness with Hugh Grant and engage in shenanigans with bears and horses. And then we wondered again why she's on so many covers all of a sudden, because if work didn't pay for them, these issues probably wouldn't be sitting on our desk.

Legendary Magazine Designer George Lois’s Last Round [BlackBook]