On the occasion of his first New York retrospective, SAGMEISTER: MADE YOU LOOK, which ran at the School of Visual Arts end of 2004, the artist and designer was asked to reflect on his past and recent accomplishments. While tooting his own horn is not a favorite pastime, we did manage to get a few choice notes. Conversation with Steve Heller for AIGA.
Through cultural commissions and public sector projects - from stamps to urban identities - Armand Mevis (1963-) and Linda Van Deursen (1961-) of MEVIS + VAN DEURSEN have played a critical role in modernising Dutch graphic design and redefining it as a dynamic medium.
Forty-five years ago I was very uncivilized. I did not know about the Bauhaus or Tschichold. I lived in my own world, working seven days a week. These days, frankly, I prefer to instruct students who know nothing about typography.
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Stefan Sagmeister is a designer who has been following his instinct and intuition to the fullest, having gained recognition for his unique, and often provocative, visual explorations. It’s possibly his very personal and almost self-centric way to design that leads to his original approach. On May 31, 19 years after starting his NYC studio he once again surprised the crowds with renaming to Sagmeister & Walsh in a ‘trademark’ Sagmeister fashion – naked in the studio.
Described by the publisher Phaidon Press as “the most famous book author you have never heard of,” Tomi Ungerer is a continental treasure in his native Europe, an artist whose life and work embody the epic forces of the late 20th century. Born in 1931 in Alsace, a region that soon became dominated by wartime Germany, Ungerer was raised under Nazi rule. His young adulthood was a mirror of postwar liberation, as he took to wandering the world before immersing himself in the invigorating climate of 1950s and 1960s New York. It was there that Ungerer made his reputation as an editorial and advertising illustrator and children’s book author, and where he became caught in the tumult of the antiwar and civil rights movements. In the early 1970s, seized by a back-to-the-land impulse, he left the States to farm in Nova Scotia. Five years later, he relocated again, this time to Ireland, where he has lived ever since.