From creating iconic artworks for The Rolling Stones, to giving inspiring TED Talks across the globe, to being half of the incredible Sagmeister & Walsh (with Jessica Walsh), Stefan Sagmeister’s impact on the design world has certainly been more than a drop in the ocean. We attended a press conference with the graphic design superstar at Billy Blue College of Design during Anomoly in Melbourne and pulled out some gems to help inspire you.
On designing for humans:
"Ensure it feels like it's made by humans, for humans."
On fighting the “inhuman”:
“A lot of [modernist] designs now make no sense whatsoever… they’re unbelievably stupid and deeply, deeply inhuman. The fact that I can leave an airport in Timbuktu and land in Sapporo and have the exact same architecture is mind-blowingly stupid. It’s crazy, it’s not what we want as humans and it’s not what we’re about. And to fight that, is not a bad cause.”
On paper vs. digital:
“There’s a certain kind of satisfaction, when that thing comes from the printer, this heavy massive thing that you put a lot of love and care into, that I think a [web] site of a similar dimension can’t quite deliver to its maker. Simply because it’s a site... it’s a never ending story… and these [digital] projects can have an unsatisfying feel of incompletion to them.”
On the function of art:
“Something that has absolutely no purpose can be absolutely beautiful… art is one of very few things that can just be, it does not feed a function.”
On collaborating with Jessica Walsh:
“What’s been shown so far is that [collaborating] is very productive, because we ultimately have our interests in very similar trajectories, specifically in the personal, the human, but have very different ways to go about it simply because we are such different people.”
On self-imposed deadlines:
“If you have an idea, write it down, put it into your calendar and give yourself deadlines. Make that deadline holy."
On getting shit done:
“It became apparent to me that the reason I let the client projects kill my personal ones, was not because the client project had a deadline attached to it, but because the personal one was new and much more difficult than the client project, that I may have done numerous time before.”