Legendary designer George Lois never seems at a loss to complain about something he doesn’t like, be it how Mad Men is “the most irritating thing in the world” or how Esquire, his former employer, was ruining their legacy with things like their “silly gimmick” of an electronic issue. Now he’s back on the warpath in talking to BlackBook about the death of design throughout the entire magazine industry. He thinks it’s all too jumbled, too Internet-y, and just hideous to look at, nearly across the board at every major outlet (especially at his alma mater: “they suck today”). He doesn’t blame the designers, per se, and believes there must be some “young George Loises out there somewhere,” but thinks the fingers should be pointed at the editors and publishers for screwing the whole thing up. You may not always agree with Lois, but he’s about the most fun designer you could ever possibly read these days. Here’s a bit of his acidic talk:
Forget the white space. I could easily tell people today, ‘You know what you gotta do with this magazine? Get some fucking white space into it.’ But that white space doesn’t make something an exciting picture. But to be able to design a spread and do it your way, and make it dramatic and effective. It could be jammed with photography or with the image, but it acts as a surprise. A punch in the mouth. But I just don’t see that happening.