May 15, 2005

My Thinking Cap

Insomnia leads me to posting this - which I’ve procrastinated for the longest time ever. I’ve always been a fan of Sagmeister since I saw his work for Aiga Detroit. That guy is a blinking genius IMHO — he’s got a distinct style and there really isn’t a piece of his work which I dislike!

On the 2nd Sept 2004, Sagmesiter gave a talk in my school. Apparently, he was there to judge some Design Singapore competition but due to reasons I cannot comprehend till today, the talk had zero publicity and we students only got wind of it the day before. So when we were there, the hall was only half packed and it turned out that Sagmestier was sitting just a row in front of me. Naturally I just HAD to ask him for his autograph. I contemplated rushing to the library and ripping a page of his book but in the end I settled on this:




Yep, that’s my favourite cap with the autograph of one of my favourite designers in the world! The talk was, to say the least, amazing. And it was absolutely free :)

Oh and I got this off a Q and A bit with him and it made me look at what I’m doing in a whole new, beautiful way.

Q: “What is the one piece of career advice you would give an individual considering, or studying for, a future in the graphic design profession?”

A: “Only study graphic design if you love it. If you wanna be a fine artist (or a potter or a…) and study graphic design because of some vague promise of earning money, don’t. It won’t work. The people who love it will always do better work. And they will earn the money.”

Posted by Randy at May 15, 2005 03:48 AM in design

someone once remarked “had he not sliced himself up, he would still be an unknown”.

that really got me thinking…

Posted by: jaffry at May 15, 2005 04:10 PM

Finally, a clear pix of the cap! Been bugging Randy to post this forever.
Don’t you just love Snog Blog’s new authors?

But I think Sagmeister does take graphic design to a different, thinking level. Some of his work at least.

Posted by: Karen at May 15, 2005 04:46 PM

I think too many people make out Sagmeister as a saint who cant do bad work. Every industry has someone like that, and at some level, people need someone like him to look up to. It also makes conversation easier ie “Who do you think you are, Sagmeister?” or “This is so cool, so Sagmeister!”

He’s become a point of reference, if you like.

I do think he’s more an artist than a designer. As graphic designers, we face real clients and real deadlines and unreal briefs. Most of his better work seem to be in projects without these constraints. Did he not take like 2 years to do this book for a Japanese client?

All said though, he is a creative genius.

Posted by: jimmy at May 15, 2005 05:03 PM

Being bored at 4am in the morning enables you to do things you’ve put off for a long time, plus it proves I can take clear photos! I secretly hope some of Sagmeister’s genius “induces” into me whenever I wear that cap. And that he would come here a drop a comment or two.

I somewhat agree with Jaffry but at the same time who would have the guts to slice himself up.. and eat a horrendous amount of food.. arrange coffee cups.. the list goes on :)

Some of Sagmesiter’s more commercial work are pretty beautiful too, like this.

Posted by: Randy at May 15, 2005 09:49 PM

Oh and when asked during the talk, he claimed the strawberry ice cream tasted the best among all the food he ate. Heh.

Posted by: Randy at May 15, 2005 09:49 PM

randy: sagmeister’s sagely advice to you got me digging high and low for a similar soundbite from peter saville in an interview which i had read long ago…

“First of all, you be a designer because you want to be. There is no importance other than self-fulfilment unless we endeavour to contribute something to our world.”

i think reading that while listening to Blue Monday (yeah, i’m old school) must’ve needled me into giving up what i was supposed to do in order to do what i wanted to do.

dude, cling on to that fuzzy idealistic feeling for as long as you can, man — sometimes, that’s the only thing that can see you through the wall of “real clients and real deadlines and unreal briefs”.

Posted by: jaffry at May 15, 2005 10:44 PM

Ah, I’m 19 and still in school. Maybe that’s why I’m still so idealistic. Jimmy told me a few days ago that I’m not ready to work yet, I think he’s right. Haha after all, I still have dreams of making a difference in the world with my designs, taking over the world with kick-ass work and of course being a rock star :)

Let’s see how long I can keep that dream alive.

Posted by: Randy at May 15, 2005 11:10 PM

hmmmm… idealism leads to high expectations… high expectations lead to disappointments… disappointments lead to hate, suffering and cynicism.


anyway, listen to your obi-wan and learn from him. show you the ways of the world, he will.

*ok, i’ll stop now*

Posted by: jaffry at May 16, 2005 12:17 AM

Who the hell is obi-wan?????????????


Posted by: Karen at May 16, 2005 12:58 AM

yeah, i think jimmy has to be obi-wan (‘jimmy-wan kenobi’ sounds catchy enough). alas, you must be a manly male to be an obiwan lah, you know. so karen, if you really want, you might have a better chance of being a queen or princess. (queens/princesses, while not endowed with light sabres and jedi mind trick abilities, have other perks like… excessive makeup, ridiculous hair and possibly access to every shopping website online.)

i think i need to go watch the RotS soon, so i’d stop blabbering and stop carrying around my rolled-up A3 artcard paper sabre.

*ok, i’ll really stop now*

Posted by: jaffry at May 16, 2005 02:02 PM

Hi! I was searching about Stefan Sagmeister’s stuff online and stumbled upon your blog.
He’s in SG NOW!!!???
I’m a FAN as well!

Posted by: Nadia at July 5, 2006 01:08 AM
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