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Contrast and Controversy

Jerod Hill, Amanda Horton, College of Fine Arts & Design, University of Central Oklahoma 100 N University Dr, Edmond, OK 73034

Controversy breeds attention and attention breeds recognition. George Lois garnered a wealth of recognition for his art direction of The Passion of Muhammad Ali Esquire Cover. Contextual factors such as the status and popularity of Muhammad Ali in the sports world, the United States’ role in the Vietnam War, The Civil Rights Movement, and Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, caused the cover to be both criticized and appreciated. Ali was at the center of much dissension and turmoil after refusing to comply with the United States military draft in opposition of the Vietnam War. The cover truly captures the attitude of its creators and subject with contrasting colors reflecting the contrasting views of the time. The controversial subject matter and excellent design execution, as well as the brilliant reputation of its art director, George Louis, ultimately resulted in the cover being recognized as an icon of design history. 

Keywords: graphic design, history, attitude, controversy, Esquire




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Jerod Hill

Institution: University of Central Oklahoma

Type: Poster

Subject: Art History & Visual Arts

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2059