This Weeks Inspiration
October 20, 2012
March 12, 2012
Leave a Comment
Robert McGinnis (born 1926) is an American artist and illustrator. McGinnis is known for his illustrations of over 1200 paperback book covers, and over 40 movie posters, including Breakfast at Tiffanys (his first film poster assignment), Barbarella, and several James Bond and Matt Helm films.
Born Robert Edward McGinnis in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was raised in Wyoming, Ohio. McGinnis became an apprentice at Walt Disney studios, then studied fine art at Ohio State University. After wartime service in the Merchant Marine he entered advertising and a chance meeting with Mitchell Hooks in 1958 led him to be introduced to Dell Publishing began a career drawing a variety of paperback covers for books written by such authors as Donald Westlake (writing as Richard Stark), Edward S. Aarons, Erle Stanley Gardner, Richard S. Prather, and the Michael Shayne and Carter Brown series.
McGinnis later did artwork for Ladies’ Home Journal, Women’s Home Companion, Good Housekeeping, TIME, Argosy, Guideposts, and The Saturday Evening Post. He was main title designer for The Hallelujah Trail (1965). McGinnis’s attention to detail was such that when he was assigned to do the artwork for Arabesque he requested Sophia Loren’s tiger stripe dress be sent for him for a model to wear so he could get the right appearance. In 1985 McGinnis was awarded the title of “Romantic Artist of the Year” by Romantic Times magazine for his many romance novel paperback covers.
Since 2004, McGinnis has created cover illustrations for the Hard Case Crime paperback series. He is a member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. McGinnis is the subject of a documentary film, Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer, by Paul Jilbert. (via Wikipedia)
Just love the work of Mr. McGinnis. Pure brilliance.
February 16, 2012
Leave a Comment
David Mackenzie Ogilvy, CBE, (June 23, 1911–July 21, 1999), was an advertising executive. He has often been called “The Father of Advertising.” In 1962, Time called him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” He was known for a career of expanding the bounds of both creativity and morality.
David Ogilvy was born on June 23, 1911 at West Horsley, Surrey in England. His mother was Irish. His father was a Gaelic-speaking Highlander from Scotland who was a classics scholar and a financial broker. Ogilvy attended St Cyprian’s School, Eastbourne, on reduced fees because of his father’s straitened circumstances and won a scholarship at age thirteen to Fettes College, in Edinburgh. In 1929, he again won a scholarship, this time in History to Christ Church, Oxford.
Without the scholarships, Ogilvy would not have been able to attend Fettes or Oxford University because his father’s business was badly hit by the depression of the mid-1920s. His studies were not successful, however, and he left Oxford for Paris in 1931 where he became an apprentice chef in the Majestic Hotel. After a year, he returned to Scotland and started selling Aga cooking stoves, door-to-door. His success at this marked him out to his employer, who asked him to write an instruction manual, The Theory and Practice of Selling the AGA cooker, for the other salesmen. Thirty years later, Fortune magazine editors called it the finest sales instruction manual ever written. After seeing the manual, Ogilvy’s older brother Francis Ogilvy – the father of actor Ian Ogilvy – showed the manual to management at the London advertising agency Mather & Crowther where he was working. They offered the younger Ogilvy a position as an account executive.
After just a few months in advertising, Ogilvy took the discipline in a whole new direction. A man walked into Ogilvy’s London agency wanting to advertise the opening of his hotel. Since he had just $500 he was turned to the novice, David Ogilvy. Ogilvy bought $500 worth of postcards and sent invitations to everybody he found in the local telephone directory. The hotel opened with a full house. “I had tasted blood”, says Ogilvy in his Confessions. This is also the incident leading him to understanding the importance of direct advertising, his “Secret Weapon” as he says in Ogilvy on Advertising.
In 1938, Ogilvy persuaded his agency to send him to the United States for a year, where he went to work for George Gallup’s Audience Research Institute in New Jersey. Ogilvy cites Gallup as one of the major influences on his thinking, emphasizing meticulous research methods and adherence to reality. During World War II, Ogilvy worked for the British Intelligence Service at the British embassy in Washington, D.C. There he analyzed and made recommendations on matters of diplomacy and security. According to a biography produced by Ogilvy & Mather, “he extrapolated his knowledge of human behavior from consumerism to nationalism in a report which suggested ‘applying the Gallup technique to fields of secret intelligence.'” Eisenhower’s Psychological Warfare Board picked up the report and successfully put Ogilvy’s suggestions to work in Europe during the last year of the war. After the war, Ogilvy bought a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and lived among the Amish. The atmosphere of “serenity, abundance, and contentment” kept Ogilvy and his wife in Pennsylvania for several years, but eventually he admitted his limitations as a farmer and moved to Manhattan.
Having worked as a chef, researcher, and farmer, Ogilvy now started his own advertising agency with the backing of Mather and Crowther, the London agency being run by his elder brother, Francis, which later acquired another London agency, S. H. Benson. The new agency in New York was called Ogilvy, Benson, and Mather. David Ogilvy had just $6,000 in his account when he started the agency. He writes in Confessions of an Advertising Man that initially, he struggled to get clients. Ogilvy also admitted (referring to the pioneer of British advertising Bobby Bevan, the chairman of Benson) “I was in awe of him but Bevan never took notice of me!” They would meet later, however. Ogilvy & Mather was built on David Ogilvy’s principles, in particular, that the function of advertising is to sell and that successful advertising for any product is based on information about its consumer. His entry into the company of giants started with several iconic advertising campaigns: “The man in the Hathaway shirt” with his aristocratic eye patch which used Baron George Wrangell as model; “The man from Schweppes is here” introduced Commander Edward Whitehead, the elegant bearded Brit, bringing Schweppes (and “Schweppervesence”) to the U.S.; a famous headline in the automobile business, “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock”; “Pablo Casals is coming home – to Puerto Rico”, a campaign which Ogilvy said helped change the image of a country, and was his proudest achievement.
One of his greatest successes was “Only Dove is one-quarter moisturizing cream”. This campaign helped Dove become the top selling soap in the U.S. Ogilvy believed that the best way to get new clients was to do notable work for his existing clients. Success in his early campaigns helped Ogilvy get big clients such as Rolls-Royce and Shell. New clients followed and Ogilvy’s company grew quickly. In 1973 Ogilvy retired as Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather and moved to Touffou, his estate in France. While no longer involved in the agency’s day-to-day operations, he stayed in touch with the company. His correspondence so dramatically increased the volume of mail handled in the nearby town of Bonnes that the post office was reclassified at a higher status and the postmaster’s salary raised. Ogilvy & Mather linked with H.H.D Europe in 1972.
Ogilvy came out of retirement in the 1980s to serve as chairman of Ogilvy, Benson, & Mather in India. He also spent a year acting as temporary chairman of the agency’s German office, commuting weekly between Touffou and Frankfurt. He visited branches of the company around the world, and continued to represent Ogilvy & Mather at gatherings of clients and business audiences. In 1989, The Ogilvy Group was bought by WPP Group, a British parent company, for US$864 million in a hostile takeover made possible by the fact that the company group had made an IPO as the first company in marketing to do so. During the takeover procedures, Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder of WPP, who already had a tarnished reputation in the advertising industry following a similar successful takeover of J. Walter Thompson, was described by Ogilvy as an “odious little jerk”, and he promised to never work again. (When Martin Sorrell signed his next company report, he followed the signature with the letters OLJ.) Two events followed simultaneously, however: WPP became the largest marketing communications firm in the world, and David Ogilvy was named the company’s non-executive chairman (a position he held for three years). Eventually he became a fan of Sorrell. A letter of apology from Ogilvy adorns Sorrell’s office, which is said to be the only apology David Ogilvy ever offered in any form during his adult life. Only a year after his derogatory comments about Sorrell, he was quoted as saying, ‘When he tried to take over our company, I would liked to have killed him. But it was not legal. I wish I had known him 40 years ago. I like him enormously now.’
At age seventy-five, Ogilvy was asked if anything he’d always wanted had somehow eluded him. His reply was, “Knighthood. And a big family – ten children.” His only child, David Fairfield Ogilvy, was born during his first marriage, to Melinda Street. That marriage ended in divorce (1955) as did a second marriage to Anne Cabot. Ogilvy married Herta Lans in France during 1973. He didn’t achieve knighthood, but he was made a Commander of the Order of British Empire (CBE) in 1967. He was elected to the U.S. Advertising Hall of Fame in 1977 and to France’s “Order of Arts and Letters” in 1990. He chaired the Public Participation Committee for Lincoln Center in Manhattan. He was appointed Chairman of the United Negro College Fund in 1968, and trustee on the Executive Council of the World Wildlife Fund in 1975. Mr. Ogilvy was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1979. David Ogilvy died on July 21, 1999 at his home, the Château de Touffou, in Bonnes, France. Ogilvy remains one of the most famous names in advertising and is considered one of the dominant thinkers, along with Raymond Rubicam, Leo Burnett, William Bernbach, and Rosser Reeves, who shaped the business after the 1920s.
His book Ogilvy on Advertising is a general commentary on advertising and not all the ads shown in the book are his. In early 2004, Adweek magazine asked people in the business “Which individuals – alive or dead – made you consider pursuing a career in advertising?” and Ogilvy topped the list. The same result came when students of advertising were surveyed. His best-selling book Confessions of an Advertising Man (ISBN 1-904915-01-9) is one of the most popular and famous books on advertising. Ogilvy’s advertising mantra followed these four basic principles:
• Research: coming, as he did, from a background in research, he never underestimated its importance in advertising. In fact, in 1952, when he opened his own agency, he billed himself as research director
• Professional discipline: “I prefer the discipline of knowledge to the anarchy of ignorance.” He codified knowledge into slide and film presentations he called Magic Lanterns. He also instituted several training programs for young advertising professionals.
• Creative brilliance: had a strong emphasis on the “BIG IDEA.”
• Results for clients: “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
December 19, 2011
Leave a Comment
Kyle Cooper (Born July 1962) is a modern designer of motion picture title sequences. Cooper studied graphic design under Paul Rand at Yale University. Early in his professional career, Cooper worked as a creative director at R/GA – an advertising agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles. During this period, Cooper created the title sequence for the 1995 American crime film Se7en, a seminal work which received critical acclaim and inspired a number of younger designers. According to Cooper, at the time he made the title sequence for Seven, main title sequences were behind of what was happening in print, music videos and commercials. He wanted to create main titles that were raising the bar creatively.
In 1996, he co-founded Imaginary Forces – a creative agency that came out of the West Coast division of R/GA. “We have spent a long time building and refining a brilliant creative and production team … Keeping this group together as our own company is truly exciting,” commented Cooper about the name change. Too involved by the business-side of running a design company the size of Imaginary Forces, Cooper decided it was time for him to focus more on his creative work. He left Imaginary Forces. In 2003, Cooper founded the creative agency Prologue. Prologue, initially located in Malibu, moved to offices in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, in 2008. His work in the field of film title design is often compared to Saul Bass. Cooper has also directed a feature film, New Port South (2001). (via Wikipedia)
Selected Film/Title Sequence:
Immortal Beloved (1994)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Arlington Road (1999)
The Mummy (1999)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Superman Returns (2006)
Across the Universe (2007)
Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
The Orphan (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
The New World (2005)
Tron: Legacy (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The Walking Dead (2010)
American Horror Story (2011)
November 17, 2011
Leave a Comment
Erik Spiekermann (born May 30, 1947 in Stadthagen, Lower Saxony) is a German typographer and designer. He is a professor at the University of the Arts Bremen. Spiekermann studied art history at Berlin’s Free University, funding himself by running a hot metal printing press in the basement of his house.
Between 1972 and 1979, he worked as a freelance graphic designer in London before returning to Berlin and founding MetaDesign with two partners. In 1989 he and his wife, Joan Spiekermann, started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts. FSI FontShop International followed and now publishes the FontFont range of typefaces. MetaDesign combined clean, teutonic-looking information design and complex corporate design systems for clients like BVG (Berlin Transit), Düsseldorf Airport, Audi, Volkswagen and Heidelberg Printing, amongst others. In 2001 Spiekermann left MetaDesign over policy disagreements and started UDN | United Designers Networks with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco.
In April 2006, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena awarded Spiekermann an Honorary Doctorship for his contribution to design. His family of typefaces for Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), designed with Christian Schwartz, received a Gold Medal at the German Federal Design Prize in 2006, the highest such award in Germany. As of January 2007, UDN has been renamed SpiekermannPartners, and as of January 2009 it has been renamed Edenspiekermann.
Spiekermann has designed many commercial typefaces as well as typefaces as part of corporate design programmes.
• Berliner Grotesk (original is from 1913, digitization is from 1979)
• Lo-Type (original is from 1911/14, digitization is from 1980)
• ITC Officina Sans (1990)
• ITC Officina Serif (1990)
• FF Meta (1991–1998)
• FF Govan (2001)
• FF Info (2000)
• FF Unit (2003)
• FF Meta Serif (with Christian Schwartz and Kris Sowersby, 2007)
Spiekermann co-authored Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works. He also participated in the creation of numerous corporate identities and other works, including redesigns of the publications The Economist and Reason. Spiekermann also appeared in the documentary Helvetica. (via Wikipedia)
November 3, 2011
Leave a Comment
Jonathan Hoefler (born August 22, 1970 is an American typeface designer. Hoefler (pronounced “Heffler”) founded Hoefler & Frere-Jones (originally The Hoefler Type Foundry, established 1989), a type foundry in New York that Hoefler shares with fellow type designer Tobias Frere-Jones. Hoefler has designed original typefaces for Rolling Stone Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire and several institutional clients, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and alternative band They Might Be Giants. Perhaps his best-known work is the Hoefler Text family of typefaces, designed for Apple Computer and now appearing as part of the Macintosh operating system.
In 1995, Hoefler was named one of the forty most influential designers in America by I.D. magazine, and in 2002, the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) presented him with its most prestigious award, the Prix Charles Peignot for outstanding contributions to type design. Hoefler and Frere-Jones have been profiled in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Esquire Magazine, and appearances on National Public Radio and CBS Sunday Morning. Hoefler’s work is part of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s permanent collection.
Jonathan Hoefler’s types include for example: Gestalt, 1990, Ideal Sans, 1991, HTF Didot, 1992, Acropolis, 1993, Knockout, 1994, Jupiter, 1995, New Amsterdam, 1996, Kapellmeister, 1997, Radio City, 1998, Cyclone, 2000, Lever Sans (with Tobias Frere-Jones), 2000, Archer (with Tobias Frere-Jones), 2001, Chronicle, (with Tobias Frere-Jones) 2002 and Sentinel, (with Tobias Frere-Jones) 2002.
September 19, 2011
Leave a Comment
Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz (born October 2, 1949) is an American portrait photographer. Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz is the third of six children. She is a third-generation American whose great-grandparents were Jewish immigrants, from Central and Eastern Europe. Her father’s parents had emigrated from Romania. Her mother, Marilyn Leibovitz, was a modern dance instructor of Estonian Jewish heritage; her father, Sam Leibovitz, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved frequently with her father’s duty assignments, and she took her first pictures when he was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War. In high school, she became interested in various artistic endeavours, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. There she learnt all her skills from her teacher Sasha Michelle, who Annie says she owes a lot of her career to. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while working various jobs, including a stint on a kibbutz in Amir, Israel, for several months in 1969.
When Leibovitz returned to the United States in 1970, she started her career as staff photographer, working for the just launched Rolling Stone magazine. In 1973, publisher Jann Wenner named Leibovitz chief photographer of Rolling Stone, a job she would hold for 10 years. Leibovitz worked for the magazine until 1983, and her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the Rolling Stone look. While working for Rolling Stone, Leibovitz became more aware of the other magazines. Richard Avedon’s portraits were an important and powerful example in her life. She learned that you can work for magazines and still do your own personal work, which for her was the most important thing. It is much more intimate and tells a story for her as she works with people who love her and who will “Open their hearts and souls and lives to you.”. Photographers such as Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson influenced her during her time at the San Francisco Art Institute. “Their style of personal reportage – taken in a graphic way – was what we were taught to emulate.”.
Leibovitz photographed The Rolling Stones in San Francisco in 1971 and 1972, and served as the concert-tour photographer for Rolling Stones Tour of the Americas ’75. Her favorite photo from the tour was a photo of Mick Jagger in an elevator.
On December 8, 1980, Leibovitz had a photo shoot with John Lennon for Rolling Stone, promising him that he would make the cover. She had initially tried to get a picture with just Lennon alone, which is what Rolling Stone wanted, but Lennon insisted that both he and Yoko Ono be on the cover. Leibovitz then tried to re-create something like the kissing scene from the Double Fantasy album cover, a picture that she loved. She had John remove his clothes and curl up next to Yoko. Leibovitz recalls, “What is interesting is she said she’d take her top off and I said, ‘Leave everything on’ — not really preconceiving the picture at all. Then he curled up next to her and it was very, very strong. You couldn’t help but feel that she was cold and he looked like he was clinging on to her. I think it was amazing to look at the first Polaroid and they were both very excited. John said, ‘You’ve captured our relationship exactly. Promise me it’ll be on the cover.’ I looked him in the eye and we shook on it.” Leibovitz was the last person to professionally photograph Lennon—he was shot and killed five hours later.
• In the 1980s, Leibovitz’s new style of lighting and use of bold colors and poses, got her the position with Vanity Fair magazine. Leibovitz photographed celebrities for an international advertising campaign for American Express charge cards, winning her a Clio award in 1987.
• In 1991, Leibovitz mounted an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. She was the second living portraitist and first woman to show there. Leibovitz had also been made Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
• Also in 1991, Leibovitz emulated Margaret Bourke-White’s feat, when she mounted one of the eagle gargoyles on the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, where she photographed the dancer David Parsons cavorting on another eagle gargoyle. Noted Life photographer and picture editor John Loengard made a gripping photo of Leibovitz at the climax of her danger. (Loengard was photographing Leibovitz for the New York Times that day).
• A major retrospective of Leibovitz’s work was held at the Brooklyn Museum, Oct. 2006 – Jan. 2007. The retrospective was based on her book, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005, and included many of her professional (celebrity) photographs as well as numerous personal photographs of her family, children, and partner Susan Sontag. This show, which was expanded to include three of the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, then went on the road for seven stops. It was on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from October 2007 to January 2008, and at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from March 2008 to May 2008. In February 2009 the exhibition was moved to Berlin, Germany. The show included 200 photographs. At the exhibition, Leibovitz said that she doesn’t have two lives, career and personal, but has one where assignments and personal pictures are all part of her works. This exhibition and her talk focused on her personal photographs and life. In 2007, The BBC misrepresented a portrait shooting by Leibovitz of Queen Elizabeth II to take the queen’s official picture for her state visit to Virginia. This was filmed for the BBC documentary A Year with the Queen. A promotional trailer for the film showed the Queen reacting angrily to Leibovitz’s suggestion (“less dressy”) that she remove her tiara, then a scene of the Queen walking down a corridor, telling an aide “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.” The BBC later apologised and admitted that the sequence of events had been misrepresented, as the Queen was in fact walking to the sitting in the second scene. This led to a BBC scandal and a shake-up of ethics training.
• In 2007, the Walt Disney Company hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in various roles and scenes for Disney Parks “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign. Leibovitz claims she never liked the word “celebrity”. “I’ve always been more interested in what they do than who they are, I hope that my photographs reflect that.” She tries to receive a little piece of each subjects personality in the photos. On April 25, 2008, the televised entertainment program Entertainment Tonight reported that 15 year old Miley Cyrus had posed topless for a photo shoot with Vanity Fair. The photograph, and subsequently released behind-the-scenes photographs, show Cyrus without a top, her bare back exposed but her front covered with a bedsheet. The photo shoot was taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The full photograph was published with an accompanying story on The New York Times’ website on April 27, 2008. On April 29, 2008, The New York Times clarified that though the pictures left an impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bedsheet and was actually not topless. Some parents expressed outrage at the nature of the photograph, which a Disney spokesperson described as “a situation [that] was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines.” In response to the internet circulation of the photo and ensuing media attention, Cyrus released a statement of apology on April 27: “I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.” Leibovitz also released a statement saying: “I’m sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted,” Leibovitz said. “The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful.”. (via Wikipedia)
Some famous photos by Annie Leibovitz:
• John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the Jan. 22, 1981 Rolling Stone cover, shot the day of Lennon’s death.
• Linda Ronstadt in a red slip, on her bed, reaching for a glass of water in a 1976 cover story for Rolling Stone magazine.
• Demi Moore has been the subject of two highly publicized Vanity Fair covers taken by Leibovitz: More Demi Moore (Aug. 1991) featuring Moore pregnant and nude, and Demi’s Birthday Suit (Aug 1992), showing Moore nude with a suit painted on her body.
• Fleetwood Mac for a 1977 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood are shown lying together, as are Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham at the opposite end of the bed. John McVie is shown reading Playboy magazine.
• Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, as The Blues Brothers, with their faces painted blue.
• Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson, both nude, with a fully clothed Tom Ford, for the cover of Vanity Fair’s March 2006 Hollywood Issue.
• Closeup portrait of Pete Townshend framed by his bleeding hand dripping real blood down the side of his face.
• Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. album cover.