In my last class, I was able to watch yet another two TED Talks about the inner realm of graphic design. This time, I had the pleasure of watching Stefan Sagmeister, a very well known graphic designer from Austria. Being a part of Communication and Art Design major here at City Tech, his name has come up a few times through my college experience. He is looked at, in the eyes of the professors who have shown him to me, as a weird yet brilliant graphic designer, who takes and makes anything out anything. A picture that I was shown the most was a picture of his body being written on, but not much so written but cut into.
That picture is all I think of when I hear his name, also the fact that on his website, his banner or picture is a 24/7 built in camera watching the office and those in it at work, or outside the office. It’s creative, but creepy.
In his TED Talk sessions, one video was “Things I have learned in life so far” introducing to us his vision on, you guessed it, what he has learned in life so far. I liked how he spoke about his personal thoughts and how he then took the thoughts he wrote down, the abundance of the, and transformed them into design. The one I liked a lot for some reason was “Money does not make me happy.”
The sentence was true for the things I have personally learned. Money doesn’t make me happy either, but it sure does help with other things sometimes. The use of these word were then taken to a visual form. The sentence was then placed on a building around two sides of it, reading ‘Money’ on one side of the building in bold light up words, and ” does not make me happy’ on the adjacent side of the building. This use and arrangement of the words highlighted ‘money’, being read as just that, and then was given a person, intimate, and very underlying meaning behind it in ‘does not make me happy’. surprisingly, I was happy, but only from the way the sentenced was placed on the walls. What stuck with me about Sagmeister was that he uses his everyday life and things that he learned to make the more simple, yet completely complex things.From his design with 25,000 plus hangers, to his stick formation of burning words in Japan, he takes what he knows and applies it to his work.
Another video that I watched was the February 2004 TED Talk by him called “Happiness”. This video was basically talking about what makes happiness. It is very hard, to me, to constantly make a work of art or design exude happiness. For Sagmeister, he spoke about what things he encountered that made him happy. For example, his trip to china being filled with superstition, he figured he wouldn’t be happy if her didn’t see particular things, making his aty in china a miserable one. On his second trip, an ad that he had wanted to see was still up and running with an additional another ad next to it reading “double happiness”.
In both of Sagmeister’s videos, I love how he is ablpe to transform his life into works that are brilliantly crafted and well thought of. I hope that, in the process of bringinjg who I am our into the world, I can also show it in my works as well.