‘So Bobby Kennedy said to me…”Go f***k yourself”.’
I had the pleasure of meeting George Lois, one of the all-time greats of the US ad and magazine worlds (his Esquire magazine covers from the 1960s now hang in the Museum of Modern Art in New York). Here’s an example of his inimitable conversational style.
I met George at last weekend’s rather excellent Offset 2010 event in Dublin’s Grand Canal Theatre, a celebration of creative design and designers which was both though-provoking and fun. I was on a panel with “the man who’s going to save Conde Nast”, Scott Dadich, who launched that company’s Wired iPad app before going on to take responsibility for its overall digital design strategy. Also speaking were publisher Adrian Shaughnessy and art editor and critic Steven Heller.
The subject under discussion was ‘The Future of Publishing’ and we managed to sort the whole thing out in 90 minutes… Well, not quite. But, as happens whenever I meet people involved in publishing and content creation these days, the striking thing is how we’re all facing exactly the same challenges, asking the same questions and (sometimes) fumbling towards the same tentative, open-ended answers in trying to figure out where the new digital world is bringing us.
While Offset’s primary focus is on graphic design, by its nature it veers into related fields including newspaper and book publishing, the music industry, writing film-making, animation and gallery-based art. In Ireland at the moment there are various print and online publications for consideration of such subjects, but too often they seem confined to their respective silos. And, inevitably, mainstream media only occasionally dips in and out of these subjects. It would be great to see a platform that allowed ongoing critical debate around culture in the broadest sense of the word emerge in this country. Anyone interested? Or should The Irish Times itself be doing more?