Stefan Sagmeister

Graphic Designer, Stefan Sagmeister

Image Credit: Design Boom and Stefan Sagmeister

The top people in your profession—you know who they are. But, even the most established and accomplished outside of your profession, you’ve probably never heard of them. Stefan Sagmeister is one of those people you’ve probably never heard of (even though he has one of the most unique names I’ve ever seen), unless you are a graphic designer. Although, he is so much more than a print designer!

I really see Stefan Sagmeister as an artist, he transcends his profession of graphic designer. He can brush with commercial design, but doesn’t live in it. Common design work is inseparable from the computer, and Stefan makes a point to do a portion of his work with other mediums. In the project above, “Trying to look good limits my life“, he uses his environment with natural materials to create his typography. I would love to have an opportunity to create typography this way. The most shocking piece he has done is physically cutting typography in his skin with a razor blade. That, I think I’ll avoid.

Another connection I share with him is design not as a means to make money; instead, design as a means to be happy. Although a cliche, having money does not make one happy. He has more than one Ted Talks video about creating Happiness in our work, and how design can make us Happy.

His personal and commercial work has mostly been solo in the past, but fairly recently, he has teamed up with Jessica Walsh and others at Sagmeister and Walsh. He works in New York, NY, but travel and taking time off in other parts of the world is a big part of his life and career. A true inspiration.

If you want to read an article that describes his essence much better than I do, the graphic design organization I belong to, AIGA, has a great article about Stefan Sagmeister.


2 thoughts on “Stefan Sagmeister

  1. I actually got to meet Sagmeister in 2007 while he was givnig a tour of his book. It was very exciting that someone of his caliber was coming to speak in Columbia, SC and as a student at my local technical college I was doubly thrilled.He looks very different in person and I don’t think that anyone realized it was him in the lobby before the talk started. Sagmeister’s presentation was very inspiring and he spoke of his failures and how they lead him to a successful finalized design. Another thing that he emphasized was taking a break to grow as a person. Just seeing his work and the process he took to get there is proof that he is a creative genius. However, he was very humble and gave thanks to the people who made the opportunities possible for him. After the presentation Sagmeister was signing autographs and speaking with everyone. He actually took an interest in what we had to say and that meant a lot to me.Our group spoke with him about his mentor Tibor Kalman and the impact Kalman made on his life. There was also refined outrage at how Sagmeister had made it into the graphic design history books, but Tibor Kalman had been ignored. Needless to say the autographed poster has been archivally matted, framed and hung on my wall.

  2. Thank you Olson, I don’t get a lot of comments on my blog and this one is the best to date. Thank you for sharing that story.

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