Famed designer Mike Salisbury, the man behind the imprint on a multitude of diverse products from HALO, the world’s most popular video game, Rolling Stone, Surfer and Playboy magazines to O’Neill and Gotcha surfwear and Levi’s 501 jeans (a brand Salisbury created), is also the genius behind Michael Jackson’s iconic image in black pants, glittery socks, and loafers wearing a single white glove.
Reflections on MJ by Mike Salisbury
Question: How did you end up working for Michael Jackson?
Here (above picture) is my first attempt at the photo for the cover of his solo album. After reviewing it, I thought that it didn’t show the real Michael. We were rushed and Michael was just not that into it. I thought he was a little too serious. We needed to shoot this differently. I mean, this album cover was just for him, not him and four other brothers.
I suggested we re-shoot it and when we did, I directed him to be more animated. I suggested he smile and exaggerate the pulling up of his pants and get into it like he was dancing. He was a great sport and agreed to do the re-shoot. We did the second photo shoot against a wall and voilá—“Off the Wall." (Below)