When Stefan Sagmeister was invited to design the poster for an AIGA lecture he was giving on the campus at Cranbrook near Detroit, he asked his assistant to carve the details on to his torso with an X-acto knife and photographed the result. Sunning himself on a beach the following summer, Sagmeister noticed traces of the poster text rising in pink as his flesh tanned.
Poster for AIGA lecture in Cranbrook, Michigan, 1999
Now a graphic icon of the 1990s, that 1999 AIGA Detroit poster typifies Stefan Sagmeister’s style. Striking to the point of sensationalism and humorous but in such an unsettling way that it’s nearly, but not quite unacceptable, his work mixes sexuality with wit and a whiff of the sinister. Sagmeister’s technique is often simple to the point of banality: from slashing D-I-Y text into his own skin for the AIGA Detroit poster, to spelling out words with roughly cut strips of white cloth for a 1999 brochure for his girlfriend, the fashion designer, Anni Kuan. The strength of his work lies in his ability to conceptualise: to come up with potent, original, stunningly appropriate ideas.
Sagmeister has designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, and the Guggenheim Museum. Having been nominated eight times he finally won two Grammies for the Talking Heads and Brian Eno & David Byrne package designs. He has also earned practically every important international design award.
Stefan will be here in Middletown, PA on February 7 as a guest speaker for Society of Design
Reception: 6:00 p.m. | Presentation: 7:00 p.m.
Capital Union Building | Penn State Harrisburg | Middletown, PA 17057
View his TED Talks on Happiness By Design here or Designing with Slogans here.
Or visit his website http://www.sagmeister.com.
Poster for the AIGA’s Fresh Dialogue talks in New York, 1996
|Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far, 2008|