You! Be Inspired! — Sound Advice from George Lois

by . August 28th, 2012

George Lois is America’s most celebrated and most controversial creative thinker of our time and without him the world wouldn’t be the same as we know it today. In fact George Lois was the man who gave MTV its second life when it hit rock bottom after its first year on-air with the TV spot “I Want My MTV”. He is also one of  the pioneers of the Creative Revolution in advertising along with Bill Bernbach that sparked in the 60s and completely changed the way of how advertising works today.

Apart from his advertising work, George Lois is also known for his provocative and highly controversial covers for Esquire. Covers such as the April 1968 cover of Muhammad Ali posed as the martyr St. Sebastian that raised not just a few eyebrows but also took the world by storm.

As graphic designers we have a lot to learn from George Lois whether its about design or the path to success in the industry.

We put together some of his must remember advices from his book the Damn Good Advice. It is a must read for creatives and non-creatives alike.

1. To create great work, Here’s how you must spend your time: 1% inspiration, 9% perspiration, 90% justification.


Virna Lisi on Esquire, March 1965

2. Why just be a Creative Thinker —when you can be a Cultural Provocateur!


I Want My MTV! TV Spot 1983

3. My First Commandment: The Word Comes First, Then The Visual


Tommy Hilfigier AD 1985

4. All the tools in the world are meaningless without an essential idea.


Kerid AD 1959

5. Your portfolio should Ignite, Provoke, Shock, Kick Ass.


Xerox 1960

6. You can be Cautious or you can be Creative (but there’s no such thing as a Cautious Creative).


Muhammad Ali on Esquire, April 1968

7. Even a brilliant idea won’t sell itself.


Wolfschmidts Ad 1960

8.  Creativity can solve almost any problem- the creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.


Andy Warhol on Esquire, May 1969

To finish this post we’d like to share one our favorite quote by George Lois that should be remembered by everybody: “Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens.

Check out more of George Lois’ iconic works at his website. Hit us up at the comments section below because we ‘d like to know what is your favorite advice by George Lois, also check us out at Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for a fresh dose of inspiration.