Sagmeister in 2008
August 6, 1962 |
|Education||University of Applied Arts Vienna, Vienna
Pratt Institute, New York City
|Known for||Graphic Design, Film|
|Notable work||Set the Twilight Reeling poster (1996)
AIGA Detroit poster (1999)
Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far (2008)
People who actually tell stories, meaning people who write novels and make feature films, don't see themselves as storytellers.
If you want to communicate something, you'd better make sure that your design piece is well-dressed and that its teeth are fixed. At the same time, I still believe that if it is only stylistically great and it has nothing to say, it still is not going to make a lasting impression on anybody.
By far, the most determining factor of any brand is the product or the service the company produces. Branding companies have very rarely any significant influence on that, but it is, of course, in their interest to amplify their importance.
To be stupid and selfish and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness. Though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.
I originally had opened the studio in New York to combine my two loves, music and design. And we created videos and packaging for many musicians that you know, and for even more that you've never heard of. As I realized, just like with many, many things in my life that I actually love, I adapt to it. And I get, over time, bored by them.
I run a design studio in New York. Every seven years, I close it for one year to pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year, we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time.
The question I wanted to answer was, could I train my mind to be happy the same way one trains one's body?
U.K. psychologist Daniel Nettle thinks of happiness as a carrot on a stick, designed by evolution to show the right way, and also designed so that we will never permanently reach it. We likely would just sit around and eat sweet and fatty foods all day, and that is simply not in the interest of evolution.
Some people said, 'Oh you're going to become a fine artist now and do exhibits and stuff.' But I have no desire to do that. I really like design and I'm going to stay with it.
Downtown Toronto is a very good place to talk about the neutrality of modernist architecture. I'm sure this kind of box-building was interesting in the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, but I think it's absolutely ridiculous to build like this in 2013.
You could say that bad typography brought us the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war, the housing crisis and a good number of other things.
It's much more difficult to make an unbound book than a bound book, because the factories aren't set up to make an unbound book.
I had given a presentation on design and happiness for quite a long while at design conferences. I had found thinking about the topic helpful for my own practice, as it forced me to consider the fundamentals, and the feedback from the audience was always enthusiastic.
I can see my work as a job. I do it for money. I likely already look forward to the weekend on Thursdays. And I probably will need a hobby as a leveling mechanism. In a career, I'm definitely more engaged. But at the same time, there will be periods when I think, 'Is all that really hard work really worth my while?'
In running, I know that I can train as much as I want and I'm never going to break the world record for the five miles. It's partly genetics; I'm just not built for it. But if I worked really hard, I might be able to cut my time by half. Could I do the same thing with my mind and my well-being?
I am not a religious person myself, but I did look for nature. I had spent my first sabbatical in New York City. Looked for something different for the second one. Europe and the U.S. didn't really feel enticing because I knew them too well. So Asia it was. The most beautiful landscapes I had seen in Asia were Sri Lanka and Bali.
There are brands out there in the world that have an incredible influence on the culture. Numerous ones are badly done.
I'm actually quite critical of the storytelling theme. I think all the storytellers are not storytellers.
I had discovered that I'm much less special than I thought I am. So whatever I find true for myself, other people might also relate to.