From the Archive; Sagmeister’s first sabbatical


On the occasion of an earlier blog post about The Happy Film, which began as one of Stefan Sagmeister’s sabbatical projects, here’s an article I wrote when his first book, Sagmeister made you look was about to be published by Booth-Clibborn Editions, as that too was the product of a ‘year without clients’, his first in fact.

I also worked with Edward Booth-Clibborn but wasn’t involved in the editorial or production process of Sagmeister’s book, so felt that it was OK to write about it. This article appeared in the esteemed German magazine, Form, subtitled ‘The European Design Magazine’, and is presented in German and English. Scans of the article are available through the magazine’s online archive, here (access requires registration).

Reading this article reveals that even then Sagmeister would seek collaborators with complementary skills, in this case, design writer Peter Hall (for The Happy Film, he worked with co-directors Hillman Curtis and Ben Nabors). But he was wrong about one thing; that once design work is published, it’s off the agenda. A star turn like Sagmeister is always going to be known for that poster (info for AIGA Miami scratched into his skin) and that CD cover (Lou Reed’s face overwritten with lyrics). If he doesn’t show then at a lecture or talk about them in an article it’s like your favourite band refusing to play their signature tune on stage; Sagmeister’s greatest hits keep his fans happy! This article also points to the performative aspect of graphic design; not only the lure of being ‘guest speaker’ at an international conference doing your best ‘show and tell’, but also with regard to selling ideas in client presentations…a very useful skill.
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From the Archive; Graphic Design: Now in Production

Occasionally I will dip into my archive of reviews, written for various publications and websites, and as I’m back in New York City, visiting design exhibitions, I thought I’d re-share this review of an exhibition event.

Graphic Design: Now in Production
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Governors Island, New York City
Visited 1 September 2012

Picture 26:9:12

4:38am, 26 September 2012
“Shake hands with the devil”
by Liz Farrelly
Originally posted on Eye Blog

The final hours of Graphic Design: Now in Production (the New York leg) provided a snapshot of contemporary practice, from the Stone Twins to Metahaven.

For the last Saturday of Cooper-Hewitt’s Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition in New York, a student and professional crowd massed for ‘The Final Hours’. The temporary location (while the Carnegie Mansion is closed for renovation) was Governors Island, a breezy six-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan.

Co-curator Ellen Lupton observed that the audience was a mix of ‘die-hard graphic designers, who’ve come over repeatedly, and other visitors who’ve known nothing about design before their visit’. Walking around the show, the excitement was palpable. Enthusiastic children reported their finds to parents and cameras were clicking as visitors took photos of each other in front of favourite exhibits.
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