Stefan Sagmeister is an absolutely amazing Graphic Designer, and in my opinion the best in the 20th and 21st century. He was born in Austria in 1963, and has traveled around the world designing building off of natural inspirations taken in during his travels. Sagmeister frequently works in his sense of humor to his designs engaging the viewers to participate in his work.
Many of my favorite pieces he has done have involved a combination of nature and typography. Sagmeister has worked on posters, commercials, album covers for The Rolling Stones, to name a few. He is an author of a book entitled, “20 Things I Have Learned in Life So Far”. He is most known for his work being entirely hand crafted, and amazing typographic quality.
In this TED presentation Sagmeister discusses a one year sabbatical he, and his staff takes every seven years to help boost their creativity, give a fresh perspective, and come back to work with a renewed passion for what they do. He looks for places that are secluded where he can connect with nature. It is this connection that almost always is in much of his work. He has taken design to the next level by creating works that change over time naturally. He includes, plants, animals, elements, and photography in the designs he creates for his clients as well as the designs he does purely out of experimentation. I would encourage anyone to watch the full video, however it is 14 minutes long. If anything watch the first few minutes when he begins to talk about nature and his sabbatical.
When creating the poster below for the School of Visual Arts in New York Sagmeister said, “I found the line ‘Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now’ under the heading: ‘Things I have learned in my life so far’ in my diary. The client graciously agreed to use it on the poster advertising the School of Visual Arts in New York.”An entire life cycle of caterpillars and butterflies lives within the twigs.
Each of the below designs are ideas that came to Sagmeister after a return from a year long sabbatical. You will notice by looking at them that each of them has some sort of natural element involved. Another interesting fact is that when Sagmeister creates these messages they are generally in various locations or cities in a given area. So a person might not ever see the entire message unless of course they looked it up online, or if they pass by each of these locations as they stood.
Lastly, I leave you with one last video of a presentation by Stefan Sagmeister. He uses newsprint paper, leaves, twigs and flowers to send a message to passersby. The message is, “Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” Simple enough. 🙂