Friday Feature: Stefan Sagmeister Happiness By Design

Stefan Sagmeister loves making lists. In February 2004, Sagmeister delivered a TED Talk in Monterey, California about happiness that featured several lists of things that made him happy. He realized that quite a few items involved design.

Sagmeister, who was born in Bregenz, Austria in 1962, founded the design studio Sagmeister Inc. In 2012, Sagmeister Inc. was renamed Sagmeister & Walsh after designer Jessica Walsh, who was working at the studio, became a partner. In addition, Sagmeister teaches in the MFA Design department at the School of Visual Arts and Walsh teaches in the BFA Design department at SVA. Check out work from Sagmeister & Walsh here.

If you want to learn more about Sagmeister, check out Graphis Issue 303, in which contributor Leslie Sherr wrote about the Austrian-born designer. Here’s an excerpt from Sherr’s piece:

Preferring the musicians of his own time to those of the past, he has worked with David Byrne, Lou Reed, Aerosmith, the European jazz ensemble Songs of Maybe, and the American hardcore band Pro-pain, among others. His designs depend very little on a literal interpretation of the music and yet they illuminate it. For instance, the alternating faces of a subdued old man printed in lurid green, then overprinted in brilliant red with the same man’s twisted howling face that disappears when slipped inside a red plastic jewel case so the green face reads as black that he used on the CD packaging for the underground bank H.P. Zinker’s “Mountains of Madness” add a striking, poignant tone to songs about the city’s effect on its inhabitants.

The Design Annual 2015 features work from Sagmeister & Walsh and is available for pre-order at a 50 percent discount for winners and members. Order it here.

Author: Matt Castello

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