Stefan Sagmeister, an Influential Designer Essay

Words: 1151
Pages: 5

Libby Castellani
Holly Vaughn
GRA 1109C
17 October 2012
Stefan Sagmeister: An Influential Designer In today’s art world there seems to be a large gap that separates fine art from commercial art. Often there is a disconnected coldness associated with those who work in communications art and produce art for clients. As if all emotion and feeling is stripped from commercial artwork merely because it was created with the intention of pleasing a client. Stefan Sagmeister bridges the gap in the art industry by redefining commercial design as a personal, emotional, and deep art. While Sagmeister’s work encompasses a vast spectrum of mediums such as, album covers, logos, installations, and posters it is his philosophy on design that
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The concept of Made You Look emphasizes to designers that while showcasing their best work is valuable it is also equally as important to hold on to the bad work. Sagmeister showcases the importance of learning from the past, good or bad, because, in a sense mistakes and bad work are necessary for better work to come. In 2008 he introduced his second publication, Things I have Learned in My Life so Far. The book is a compilation of typographical representations of life lessons taken from Sagmeister’s personal diary (Carnick, 11). Much of Sagmeister’s inspiration for his second book stems from the work and wisdom of his grandfather who was educated in sign painting (Sagmeister). The book’s content displays various mediums for the creation of type, including food, furniture, plants, flowers, and even giant inflatable monkeys (Carnick, 11). As Sagmeister explores the tangible realm of type he gives a personal touch through his messages. Works from this series include, Trying to Look Good Limits My Life and Having Guts Always Works out For Me (Sagmeister). What is most impressive about Sagmeister’s method is his ability to see beyond the function of an object and instead utilize it as a material to create type. Sagmeister describes the materials used in this work as “anything we could find!” (Foster, 22). In conclusion, Stefan Sagmeister in many ways has reinvented what it means to be a graphic designer. Through the various mediums of his work he shows