Esquire

The Harman Kardon Esquire is a Travel Speaker Done Right.

Harman Kardon has been on a tear lately with a slew of killer products featuring clean functional design. From headphones to speaker systems, they have been setting the high bar in terms of visual design aesthetic and materials used.

The new Esquire speaker is a great example of the new Harman Kardon product line up. This little, portable speaker not only features Bluetooth, it has NFC for all those Android devices that are packing that technology. At $250.00 it isn’t cheap, but if it’s anything like the Aura speaker system I own, it’s worth the money.

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Esquire is a wireless audio system with designed with travel in mind. The speaker has dual drivers, a built-in bass port, and can be used for music listening around the house, office, or on-the-go. In addition, Esquire can be used with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to make clear, no-fuss conference calls. Esquire uses custom-tuned microphones and noise cancellation technology to improve call quality even in noisy environments.

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Prepare totravel in a completely different way. The Harman Kardon Esquire is your new, on-the-road, wireless audio system. Esquire is a Bluetooth®-enabled speaker with a built- in conference phone system that redefines how you take your music with you. This durable, portable speaker is crafted out of fine materials with a leather panel and metal finish on the outside. On this inside, it’s pure Harman Kardon engineering, with dual drivers and a built-in bass port for clear sound, as well as custom-tuned microphones and noise cancellation technology for clear conference calls from your Bluetooth®-enabled smart phone. Top performance and outstanding design, this exquisite, portable speaker from Harman Kardon is substance and style. It looks as good as it sounds.

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Volio and Esquire Create Interactive Video for the iPad

This is a pretty interesting idea from Esquire magazine. It’s not perfect but it does show a good attempt at interactive video on the iPad. Since this is version one, of this app it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out as Esquire develops more content, and as the data base of questions grows.

Developed in conjunction with Volio, the “Talk to Esquire” app uses voice recognition to deliver what feels like realtime video, but is probably pre-recorded. The software analyzes your questions and then delivers the most appropriate response. The demo video is pretty dry with Esquires editor in chief showing off the app, but it’s worth watching because the potential of where this could go is pretty huge.

Design Friday, George Lois.

Everyone is probably familiar with George Lois work, even non designers. Lois is best known for more than 92 covers he created for Esquire magazine between 1962 and 1972. Those covers offered a controversial statement on life in the 1960s and 1970’s and had a direct impact on magazine design at the time. His cover subjects included Norman Mailer, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Germaine Greer, and Richard Nixon, and a host of others.

Born in New York City in 1931, Lois was raised in the Bronx. His arts career can be traced back to its beginnings when he attended the High School of Music and Art, in New York and then the prestigious Pratt Institute. After Graduation Lois had a brief stent with Reba Sochis before being drafted into the army for the Korean war in 1953.

In 1955 after his discharge from the army, ent to work for the advertising and promotions department at CBS where he designed print and media projects where he worked until being hired by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1959. One year later Lois was recruited away from DDB by Fred Papert and Julian Koenig to form Papert, Koenig Advertising. Lois spent seven years at the firm before leaving to form his own company. “Lois”.

As Lois formed and began o take on clients, he developed what he called  “The Big Idea”. Some of his more well-known contributions to the advertising world have been; creating the concept and prototype designs for the “New York” magazine supplement for the New YorkHerald Tribune (forerunner of what became New York magazine). Lois also created the legendary “I Want My MTV” campaign in the late 1980’s and he helped create and introduce MTV’s spin-off channel VH1. Lois was responsible for the re branding of renamed Stouffer’s frozen foods products to Lean Cuisine. He developed marketing and messaging for Jiffy Lube stations. He created the initial advertising campaign to raise awareness of designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Other clients include: Xerox, Aunt Jemima, USA Today, ESPN and four re-election campaigns for U.S. Senators: Jacob Javits, Warren Magnuson, Minority Leader Hugh Scott, Robert Kennedy. In addition to print and advertising, Lois also has created music videos and broadcast design. His one music video, “Jokerman” by Bob Dylan, won the MTV Best Music Video of the Year Award in 1983.

A point of note, George Lois is the only person in the world that has been inducted into The Art Directors Hall of Fame, The One Club Creative Hall of Fame, and holds Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, as well as a subject of the Master Series at the School of Visual Arts.

Not that it really matters since his contributions have still so great, but it should be noted. George Lois has been accused of stealing credit for others’ ideas and for exaggerating his participation on certain campaigns and designs. The June 19, 2009 episode of “This American Life” Ira Glass featured a segment in which several of Lois’ former associates claimed he took credit for ad campaigns, ad copy and Esquire covers that were partially or wholly the work of others. The program contained interviews from Carl Fisher (the Esquire photographer who shot the famous Sonny Liston cover claimed by Lois) and two of Lois’ former partners, Julian Koenig and Fred Papert.

On May 18, 2008, the New York Times published a correction of an April 27, 2008 review of a George Lois art exhibit. In the correction, the Times stated that the “Think Small” Volkswagen ad campaign and the “I Want My Maypo” campaign were not created by George Lois. The correction identified Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone as the creators of the VW ad campaign, and John and Faith Hubley as the creators of the Maypo campaign, contradicting Lois’ published claims of credit for these ad campaigns.

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