Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister was born in 1962 in Bregenz, Austria. He attended University of Applied Arts in Vienna to study graphic design. In 1987 Sagmeister moved to New York to attend Pratt University with the Fulbright Scholarship but returned to Austria in 1990 to do community services to avoid military service. He returned to New York in 1993 after spending time in Hong Kong with Leo Burnett. In 1993 when Sagmeister returned to New York he worked with M&Co with designer Tibor Kalman until the studio closed within that year; Sagmeister opened his own studio called ‘Sagmeister, Inc.’. In 1994 he was nominated for a Grammy for his album cover “H.P. Zinker Moutains of Madness”. He continued to work with musicians creating album covers for many artists such as David Byrne, Lou Reed, and The Rolling Stones. In 1996 Sagmeister began doing work for AIGA developing posters until in 1999 he took “a year off” to develop his first book “Made You Look (another self-indulgent design monograph)”. In 2005 he finally won a grammy award as art director of the ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Talking Heads boxed set packaging. He has also done work for HBO and the Guggenheim Museum.


Sagmeister also created his work “Things I have learned in my life so far.” a series of typographic pieces inspired by the work of his grandfather that he began in 2004. The book was published in 2008. The series of personal sayings have been published all over the world in various formats which include billboards and giant inflatable monkeys. Some of his sayings include maxims like “Having guts always works out for me” and  “Trying/to look/good/limits/my life”.

Sagmeister has done a lot of awesome things and has influenced the design world. He made a name for himself by carving words into his own body to display the pain that goes into his design projects. I think his works is really creative and influential. I personally love working with type and seeing different approaches to using type. Sagmeister has truly taken it to a new level. I also have becoming nearly obsessed with this “Things I’ve learned in my life so far” project. I think all his sayings are helpful pieces of advice and are useful to keep in mind in any aspect of life. His approach to using them and where he published them is awesome.


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