Stefan Sagmeister Presentation - San Diego City College (Sharon DeCaro) 10.21.08
Stefan Sagmeister a Great Mind in Design
BiographyStefan Sagmeister is a graphic designer and typographer, he is one ofthe most important figures in the industry today. Born in Austria, henow lives and works in New York. He has his own design firm,Sagmeister Inc. He has designed album covers for Lou Reed, theRolling Stones, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny. In 2005 he received aGrammy Award in Best Boxed or Special Edition Package category forhis art direction with Talking Heads. 1962 Born in Bregenz, Austria. His parents own a fashion retailing business. Educated at a local engineering school, then at a college in nearby Dornbirn. 1981 Moves to Vienna. Accepted on his second attempt to study graphic design at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. 1985 Graduates with a first class degree and a $1,000 prize from the City of Vienna. 1987 Arrives in New York with a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute. 1991 Moves to Hong Kong and lands a job with ad agency, Leo Burnett. 1993 Returns to New York (via Sri Lanka) to work for Tibor Kalman at M&Co. Six months later, Kalman closes M&Co and Sagmeister opens his own studio. 1994 Creates identity for his brother, Martin’s jeans stores, Blue. Nominated for a Grammy Award for the cover for H. P. Zinker’s Mountains of Madness. 1995 Starts collaboration with David Byrne by designing the cover of his Afropea compilation album 1996 First project with Lou Reed: Set the Twilight Reeling album cover. Emblazons a pair of tongues on poster for AIGA’s Fresh Dialogue talks. 1997 Creates Headless Chicken poster for AIGA biennial conference in New Orleans and designs graphics for David Byrne’s Feelings and Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon. 1999 Sagmeister carves the text of a poster for an AIGA lecture at Cranbrook near Detroit into his own torso. 2000 Takes a year off to work on experimental projects. 2001 Reopens studio and publishes the book, Sagmeister: Made You Look. 2003 Designs Once in a Lifetime boxed set for Talking Heads. 2004 Visiting professor in Berlin and unveils Trying to look good limits my life, series of typographic billboards.
Provocative Graphics Sagmeister carves the text of a poster for an AIGA lecture at Cranbrook near Detroit into his own torso. Poster for the AIGA’s Fresh Dialogue talks in New York, 1996ControversyoverSagmeister’sbum-bearing4As awardsposter in HongKong.
Vilcek AwardThis award trophy for the Vilcek Prize was created for a major new award program honoringoutstanding achievements of foreign-born Americans within the fields of the visual arts and biomedicalresearch. The first winners are artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude as well as cancer researcher JoanMassague. The trophy represents a visualization of the pinnacle an individual or group can reach, eachtrophy is individually designed and cast for the winner.
2000 Takes a year off to work on experimental projects Sagmeisters full list of 20 maxims are as follows: 1. Helping other people helps me. 2. Having guts always works out for me. 3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now. 4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy. 5. Being not truthful always works against me. 6. Everything I do always comes back to me. 7. Assuming is stifling. 8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on. 9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted. 10. Money does not make me happy. 11. My dreams have no meaning. 12. Keeping a diary supports personal development. 13. Trying to look good limits my life. 14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses. 15. Worrying solves nothing. 16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget. 17. Everybody thinks they are right. 18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first. 19. Low expectations are a good strategy. 20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.
Influences and Comments“Most designers I like, have big interests in other fields such as John Maeda and hisprogramming abilities, Tibor Kalmann and his political background in the studentmovement, Storm Thorgeson and his photo montage wizardry; they all stayed awayfrom the typical influence of design annuals.”From an interview — Scene 360: In your book, Sagmeister: Made You Look, there isa personal quote stating, "Art fucks design and vice versa." You seem to be a fan ofboth. Why do you think these two dont play nicely together? Sagmeister: Becauseright now, with all the talk about blurring the line in between them, they still dont knowmuch about each other. But there were always moments in time when they did have agreat time together, in this century at the Bauhaus in Germany and at the WienerWerkstaedte in Vienna. Or, a more recent example, that Damien Hirst book byJonathan Barnbrook; one of my favorite art and design collaborations. Storm Thorgerson designed album covers for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppellin.
Who he influencedStefan Sagmeister has influenced too manypeople to name.
Why Sagmeister is a Great MindHis multiculturalism and political awareness. He uses design to change worldviews and makes people think outside the box.His innovative and experimental use of type. He takes risks.He pays more attention to concept rather than style. His work is unique andcreative.He goes beyond his limits or boundaries to produce one of a kind work. He isable to open the eyes of the public by sharing his own personal thoughts,opinions and experiences through his works.