Stefan Sagmeister. The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

When asked if there was anything he did not like about being a designer, his response was “the anxiety.” I think that’s beautiful.

Stefan is a razor blade wielding, gracefully brutal, always surprising master of communication.

-Paola Antonelli Senior Curator MOMA

When I was first introduced to the work of Stefan Sagmeister, I knew that I would never look at design the same way again. His insanity and creativity are unrivaled by anyone else in this field. If Sid Vicious, Tristan Tzara and the Mad Hatter were to miraculously have a love child, it would be him.

Born in Bregenz, Austria in 1962, Sagmeister was rejected to art school in Vienna before winning a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1987. He then went on to become on of the foremost designers in graphic design history. Take that, art school!


One of his most memorable pieces was the the poster he created for AIGA Detroit, in which he carved the information for the show into his own skin. Now that is commitment to your art! I can’t even commit to taking a multi-vitamin every day. This guy’s intense… Hence, my love for him.

Humor, individuality and anarchy have always been the underlying themes in his designs.

-Design Museum Article







His Lou Reed ‘Set the Twilight Reeling’ posteris incredible. He rarely uses fonts and all of the text is written in his hand.








Sagmeister says one of the greatest points in his career was reaching the point when he could design cd packaging only for bands he really liked. Nice!

Sagmeister has also won a Grammys for his art direction of the Talking Heads box set, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ and David Byrne and Brian Eno’s album ‘Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.’ Not too shabby! He has named the band King Crimson as his dream client. Seriously, how great would that be?






In his book, ‘Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far’ he includes this list. Though I find it hard to believe he has learned only 16 things in his life, the list is insightful nontheless.

  • Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now.
  • Being not truthful works against me.
  • Helping other people helps me.
  • Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
  • Everything I do always comes back to me.
  • Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  • Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.
  • Money does not make me happy.
  • Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
  • Assuming is stifling.
  • Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
  • Trying to look good limits my life.
  • Worrying solves nothing.
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doeses.
  • Having guts always works out for me.

Visit his site for more information.

by Katy Oss

Bibliography: www.




Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment