An Advertising Great: Amil Gargano in Graphis Journal #373

Once in a long while, an art director appears on the scene whose work truly transcends trends, styles, and even eras. Graphis Master Amil Gargano is among the very best of these. 

From the early days of his partnership with Carl Ally (at their legendary agency Ally & Gargano) in the swinging ’60s and all the way through to his retirement in 2001, he created timeless ads that still work now, decades later—and would easily win Platinum and Gold awards in Graphis competitions today. Throughout his 45-year career, he consistently raised the bar for what advertising could be, which is why A&G’s now-classic ads for Volvo, Hertz, Fiat, FedEx, Saab, and more should now be required viewing for advertising students across the globe. 

Even after his retirement, Gargano’s presence in the design world still makes an impact. He recently appeared alongside Andrew Cracknell, author of The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising, at an event sponsored by the Gotham Center for New York City History. Soon after, he was featured in a year-long project by Google called “Re: Brief – Re-Imagining Volvo”. As Harry Jacobs, chairman emeritus of the Martin Agency says, “No matter what decade we come from, I think Amil and his agency still lead the pack.”

This is the first of an ongoing series that will appear in each journal, featuring some of the best work of truly time-transcendent Graphis Masters. We’re honored to launch it with Amil, one of the all-time greats of the profession. May we all be inspired!

See more of Amil Gargano’s work and discover other great artists in Graphis Journal #373, which you can purchase online at

Author: Holly McWhorter