Sagmeister in the SKY/pe

Type in the sky

Ein Fotographisches Alphabet, Lisa Rienermann 2007

When my friend sent me a link to Lisa Rienermann’s Type the Sky/A Photographic Alphabet (above), I immediately made a visual free-association with Stefan Sagmeister’s word installations (below, from Hillman Curtis’ short film).

To Look

"To Look," from a short film about Stefan Sagmeister on (2005)

This Wednesday, 1/25/12, The Art Institute of CA-OC AIGA Club will be hosting a Skype discussion with Stefan Sagmeister, a graphic designer known for running a small scale design agency and taking time off. His work follows the dictum that the end result should reflect the creative process.  The AIGA Detroit poster he designed in 1999 seems to be the seminal example of his ideology. In order to demonstrate the pain integrated in the design process, and therefore the lives of designers, Sagmeister had his intern carve the typography into his skin before being photographed as the literal “poster boy.” As he writes on his website, “Yes, it did hurt real bad.”

Sagmeister AIGA Detroit Poster

Stefan Sagmeister, AIGA Detroit Poster, 1999

His professional career has proven largely successful in the last thirteen years. But what really endears myself, and likely other educators, to Stefan is his willingness to give back to the community of design students. There is an area on his website devoted to “answers;” and in that section, a sub-division about “Being a Design Student.” It’s moments of coming to media like this that I just can’t help but wonder where this sort of openness was hiding when I was a student. The first question he posts is: Have you ever had doubts about what you wanted to do, or about whether or not you were good at it? In response, he writes:

Yes. Especially during school. I knew I wanted to become a designer (not many doubts there) but very much doubted the quality of the work. Had constant doubts in Hong Kong. Wanted to quit every week.

So there you go. One of our most admired and well-known graphic designers wanted to quit every week. If you can make it to Orange County on Wednesday, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a superbly inspired discussion. But please, do us all two favors:

  1. RSVP on the AiOC AIGA Facebook page, and
  2. Read the questions and answers already posted on his website!


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