Last night, through the good graces of the robots at Amazon and the I heart logisticians of UPS, George Lois' new book "DAMN GOOD ADVICE (for people with talent!) How to Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator" arrived at my apartment. I haven't read it cover to cover as yet--I think Lois is a lot like a very rich cheese cake, you can really only stomach two or three bites at a sitting.
I was never a big fan of Lois' advertising output. As even the title of his book displays, I found his later work too full of forced exclamations and ALL CAPS. Too absolute and borrowed. Also, he seemed to create a helluva lotta ads with people flying through the air.
Nevertheless, no one can take anything away from much of his work and his Esquire covers remain the apotheosis of visual design.
His book is similar in format to Paul Arden's "It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book." And, Phaidon is publisher of both. And like Arden's book, Lois' is breezy and easy to read. Which does not mean it's slight, it means you can take it in, put it down and easily come back to something that provokes you. Like Arden's, Lois' is a bit of a pep talk, done in Lois' "you fuck-head" style.
Years ago I read a book called "The Strangest Man," about the great English physicist Paul Dirac. Like Einstein and other greats, Dirac maxed out at around the age of 26. He did important work after that but his giant bursts of creativity had ended.
The amazing thing about Lois is that you get the feeling reading the book that he hasn't yet burned out. He's been going and going and going for 60 years and could probably still smash you in the face and out work you.
The book cost $9.95 in the States.
When you got it, flaunt it.