George Lois . Ralph Vasquez .jpg

Designers

 

GEORGE LOIS

Advertising Wunderkind • Graphic Communicator • Author

 

It all began with George Lois, yes that George Lois of Esquire Magazine fame. 

While attending the School of Visual Arts, I would routinely bombard my graphic design professor with questions about George Lois’ work. One day before uttering a word she asks, “would you like to meet him?” So I say “oh hell yeah, who wouldn’t!” not realizing she was serious.

True to her word, a few hours later, I was face to face with George Lois at his book signing, we were introduced and the rest is history. Our subsequent meetings inspired this portrait series of my design heroes.

The first portrait of this ongoing series took two years of constant calls and emails to set up. Finally, I got the portrait session and it was worth the wait. The resulting friendship that grew out of that collaboration is something I treasure, and that continues to grow.

 

 
 

LOUISE FILI

Graphic Designer • Type Designer • Author

 

Louise Fili’s renowned work is instantly recognizable by the grace, elegance and sophistication it exudes, a nod to Louise's own style. After seeing the level at which Louise's work is executed, I knew my photographs would be scrutinized like never before and I welcomed it (well kind of). We discussed what we both expected in her portrait and began to shoot and explore.

As Louise sat down on what I called a porch sofa, every detail of our collaboration began to fall into place. I later learned what I mistakenly called a porch sofa is a glider.

Louise is the first great female designer in this series, and for that I am grateful. I was asked to consider different facets of the moment that might otherwise have escaped me, but never again. The lessons of that day, which I guard closely, have been put to good use.

 

 
 

STEVEN HELLER

Author • Educator • Gadfly

 

The creative power couple of Steven Heller & Louise Fili were both kind enough to let me do my thing. The end result: these two gorgeous portraits.

The first time I met Steven Heller was at his Master Series at SVA a few years back. A memorable reception, made unique by the high demand of Steven's likeness; drawn, painted or illustrated by design greats. I managed to snag a few, which he kindly autographed.

At a recent gallery reception, I struck up a conversation with Steven and Louise, expressing how much I enjoyed Stylepedia, which led to conversations that eventually opened the door to do these portraits. Their portraits were done independent of each other and months apart, but somehow they are aesthetically intertwined. Creative luck or a creative statement.

 

 
 

RICHARD WILDE

Educator • Art Director • Author

 

My former Graphic Design professor (and I write this with a smile on my face), for it was Professor Wilde who allowed this photo-major to take Graphic Design classes. That decision helped to educate and refine my taste in design, and planted the design seed in me. 

I heard stories of Professor Wilde's collections and how it would make a great setting for a portrait. No one mentioned how vast his collection is, so much so, that to do his various collections justice, would require a book.

Captured here is a fraction of the Wilde collection and one side of Professor Wilde. As Richard moves from room to room proudly showing me his different collections, his emotions fly from one end of the spectrum to the other, so the portrait opportunities are endless.

My emotions also started to get the better of me, as I saw many times over, items I lusted for as a child staring back at me from his collection.

So yeah, he had me at the door knob collection.

 

 
 

GAIL ANDERSON

Art Director • Designer • Typographer • Author

 

In a conversation with Louise Fili, Gail Anderson’s name came up and I was asked if I knew her work, I said no. Turns out that wasn’t the case. A week or so later I came across a piece Gail did for the School of Visual Arts, then a Rolling Stone cover I fell in love with and held on to, a book jacket design and so on. 

The portrait session took place on a winter day with only one certainty: I would include a vast and unique collection of salt and pepper shakers in one of the portraits. 

Since our session, Gail has championed my portrait work, even before seeing her own portrait finalized.

To think that I knew the work but not the name or the face, but that’s all changed now. That happens sometimes with work that shapes culture.

Gail Anderson’s work has done just that.