Stefan Sagmeister (born 1962 in Bregenz, Austria) is a New York-based graphic designer and typographer currently living in Bali, Indonesia. He has his own design firm—Sagmeister Inc.—in New York City. He has designed album covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny.
Sagmeister studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He later received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute in New York. He began his design career at the age of 15 at “Alphorn“, an Austrian Youth magazine, which is named after the traditional Alpine musical instrument.
In 1991, he moved to Hong Kong to work the Leo Burnett’s Hong Kong Design Group. In 1993, he returned to New York to work Tibor Kalman’s M&Co design company. His tenure there was short lived, as Kalman soon decided to retire from the design business to edit Colors magazine for the Benetton Group in Rome.
Stefan Sagmeister proceeded to form the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed branding, graphics, and packaging for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, the Guggenheim Museum and Time Warner. Sagmeister Inc. has employed designers including Martin Woodtli, and Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker, who later formed Karlssonwilker.
Stefan Sagmeister is a long-standing artistic collaborator with musicians David Byrne and Lou Reed. He is the author of the design monograph “Made You Look” which was published by Booth-Clibborn editions.
Solo shows on Sagmeister, Inc.’s work have been mounted in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Japan, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, and Seoul. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts in New York and has been appointed as the Frank Stanton Chair at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York.
His motto is “Design that needed guts from the creator and still carries the ghost of these guts in the final execution.”
Sagmeister goes on a year-long sabbatical around every seven years, where he does not take work from clients. Currently on one in Bali, Indonesia, he is resolute about this, even if the work is tempting, and has displayed this by declining an offer to design a poster for Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign. Sagmeister spends the year experimenting with personal work and refreshing himself as a designer.
Stefan is another artist that likes to do things out side of the box, though he likes to do most of his work on a bigger scale and in reality, he like to see the public interact with it. This piece below is a birds eye view of coins, and he had 150 volunteers help him produce it, then he just left it for the public, to see what would happen, and for a little while nothing happened until one man walked up and started putting the coins in his bag then the city council interacted and cleaned it up until they could get a hold of Stefan. Looking at the Photo with out knowing what it was we would think it was just a fancy poster with some clever photo shopping but with the story behind it makes this an amazing piece and my favorite of stefan’s work.
Another Piece of Stefan’s using Sugar or Salt. I find this Piece funny because we have all done this sometime sitting in a canteen in school and board just for no reason. Stefan takes everyday things like coins, salt and bananas and makes them into a masterpiece with a hidden message or quote to help inspire people. Its a very clever technique.
“If i want to explore a new direction, Professionaly it is helpful to try it out for yourself first.”