Born 1962 in Bregenz in the Austrian Alps, Sagmeister studied engineering after high school, but switched to graphic design after working on illustrations and lay-outs for Alphorn, a left-wing magazine. The first of his D-I-Y graphic exercises was a poster publicising Alphorn’s Anarchy issue for which he persuaded fellow students to lie down in the playground in the shape of the letter A and photographed them from the school roof.
Now a graphic design icon, Sagmeister’s work encompasses humour and sensationalism but in such an unsettling way that it’s nearly offensive, mixing sexuality with wit and a spot of the sinister. Sagmeister’s technique is often simple to the point of banality, like slashing D-I-Y text into his own skin for the AIGA Detroit poster.
To Stefan Sagmeister inspiration is found in unconventional places from which other people hide. Where other designers are satisfied with creating an image that is pleasing at first glance, Sagmeister holds a mirror up to people, challenging them to look deeper, in a sustained gaze.
He has received a Grammy Award in 2005 in Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category for art directing Once in a Lifetime box set by Talking Heads.
I admire Sagmeisters style because it resonates so well with mine- the humorous satire bordering on the creepy sinister core.
He is like one of our crusaders, putting more sharp humour into art, which art desperately horribly needs.
I have no idea how to class his style, however. it looks like he uses a lot of classical painting skill, but i believe he has taken pop art and surrealism into a stranger world of his own, a sort
of adult Dr. Seuss. His work is so diverse that i dont think i can start to generalise on his use of line, point, etc. but i can tell you that he likes to use the ol' Vinci chiaroscuro (use of light and shade) thang. His style is enigmatic and charismatic. He pushes the envelope almost into the furnace. I'm proud to have his name on the graphic design side of the art family.