stefan sagmeister: another exhibit about promotion and sales material
mar 23, 2011
stefan sagmeister: another exhibit about promotion and sales material


stefan sagmeister: another exhibit about promotion and sales material
the mudac museum of design and contemporary applied arts, switzerland
open now until june 13, 2011

‘banana wall’ 2008
image © stefan sagmeister


austrian born, new york-based typographer and graphic designer stefan sagmeister has a new exhibit
at the mudac museum in switzerland. the show consists of only projects commissioned by clients, rather
than his personal work, including exhibition catalogs, album covers, posters, and advertisements. the exhibition
is divided into four parts reflecting the same categories sagmeister distinguishes among his commissions:
the promotion of culture, the promotion of companies, the promotion of his friends, and the self-promotion of his
own own agency, sagmeister inc.

workshops with the designer are available through march and may. an oddly neo-classical 176 page bilingual
catalog of the show is also available designed by one of sagmeister’s former collaborators martin woodtli.


‘banana wall’ 2008
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: richard the and joe shouldice for deitch projects, 5.9m x 12.4m
image © stefan sagmeister

the opening reception of sagmeister’s show at new york’s deitch projects gallery in 2008 featured a wall
of 10,000 bananas. the green bananas stood out from the yellow ones in the background to form a pattern
spelling out the following sentence: ‘self-confidence produces fine results.’ a few days later, the green bananas
ripened to yellow and the message was gone.


view of main exhibition space
image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne

continuing his theme of wall installations, the mudac’s exhibition room reads, ‘whatever you do, do not shove your
finger in the hole’ in regards to his postcard invitation for his first
solo show at the mak museum in vienna, austria.
apparently the viennese appreciated the card and over a thousand people
were allowed to enter the show
in small groups at a time.


poster for his show at the mak in vienna, austria
image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne


‘ggg-ddd poster’ 2003, 720 mm x 1030 mm
design: stefan sagmeister and matthias ernstberger, photography: tom schierlitz

image © stefan sagmeister

a poster advertising design exhibitions in osaka and tokyo with a classic before/after situation.
the top picture shows stefan sagmeister at 178 pounds, the bottom picture shows him one week later,
having consumed all the shown food items and gained 25 pounds.

sagmeister exhibit at MAK invitation card, 2002
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: stefan sagmeister, matthias ernstberger and sabine hug,
illustration: sabine hug, photography: tom schierlitz for MAK, Vienna
148mm x 105mm

image © stefan sagmeister


image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne


image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne


background: ‘darwin chair’ 2010
foreground: ‘be here now’ 2009
image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne

sagmeister’s ‘darwin chair’ in collaboration with manufacturer droog will be on display as well. made from perforated
tyvek sheets that can be removed when the owner feels they need something new. see our previous coverage of its
debut at last year’s design miami/basel event. his compass table ‘be here now’ visually illustrates the designer’s
sentiment to uninterrupted conversation. 300 compasses point towards custom magnet embedded porcelain cups.


opening room to the exhibition
image © musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, lausanne

the exhibition display has been done by lausanne design studio big-game, including a non-stop broadcast
of the sagmeister inc website which has its own webcam into the new york studio.


anni kuan horse brochure, 2002
concept: stefan sagmeister, design: matthias ernstberger and eva hueckman, photo: matthias ernstberger for anni kuan, 23 x 32 inches

image © stefan sagmeister

anni kuan is an asian fashion designer working in new york. announcing the first collection in the year
of the horse, sagmeister inc. sent out a shrink-wrapped and crumpled piece of newsprint featuring the
new collection as well as wrapping a little plastic horse. a cheap and quick solution:
plastic horse = 8 cents, crumpling of paper = 4 seconds.


image © stefan sagmeister


‘levi’s, the strongest thread’ and ‘levi’s, threads’ 2008, posters
creative director: stefan sagmeister, design: joe shouldice and richard the, photography: tom schierlitz for Levi Strauss & Co;
33 x 47 inches (A0)

image © stefan sagmeister

he literally shredded a pair of jeans before piecing it back together again for a series with levis.


talking heads, ‘once in a lifetime’ box set, 2003
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: matthias ernstberger, cover paintings: vladimir dubossarsky and alexander vinogradov, creative supervison: hugh brown
425mm x 135mm

image © stefan sagmeister

titled ‘once in a lifetime’ and containing 3 CDs and 1 DVD, this panoramic talking heads collection features
cover paintings by the russian contemporary artists vladimir dubossarsky and alexander vinogradov. they contain
all of the studio’s favorite visuals icons: babies, bears, severed limbs and bare naked people (except a guy in boxers
on the inside front cover). the extreme format of the packaging not only allows for easy storage in standard
record store bins but will also handily obstruct access to all CD’s behind it. It contains over 100 rare
photographs and extensive essays.”


david byrne and brian eno, ‘everything that happens will happen today’ CD cover, 2009
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: richard the, joe shouldice and jared stone, illustration: stephan walter, production: gamil design
12.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 7.5 cm
image © stefan sagmeister


‘columbia abstract 07/08′ 2008
image © stefan sagmeister


image © stefan sagmeister


zumtobel annual report, 2002
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: stefan sagmeister and matthias ernstberger, photography: bela borsodi, prototype: joe stone
273mm x 214mm

image © stefan sagmeister

zumtobel is a european manufacturer of lighting systems. the cover of this annual report features a heat molded
relief sculpture of five flowers in a vase, symbolizing the five sub brands under the zumtobel name. all images on the
inside of the annual report are photographs of this exact cover, shot under different light conditions (from the same firm),
illustrating the power of changing light.


‘mariko mori wave UFO book’ 2003
image © stefan sagmeister


‘the guggenheim’ douglas gordon catalogue
art direction: stefan sagmeister, design: matthias ernstberger, typography: marian bantjes, production: lara fieldbinder and melissa secundino, writer: nancy spector
115mm x 160mm x 45 mm

image © stefan sagmeister

douglas gordon’s entire exhibition ‘the vanity of allegory’ at the guggenheim museum in berlin is packaged as
postcards into a portable box. the cover incorporates a slanted mirror thus creating vain, reflected typography.


image © stefan sagmeister


‘true majority’ 2004
image © stefan sagmeister

to stimulate awareness of disparities in the budgetary choices made by the american government,
sagmeister created a ‘double bus’ comprising two yellow school buses stuck together back-to-back.
on its way across the land, his hybrid vehicle aroused much media attention, possibly benefitting the
NGO’s cause more than any costly advertising campaign.


image © stefan sagmeister


‘monkeys in scotland’ project, 2007
6 giant inflatables (detail)

image © stefan sagmeister

as a part of the six cities design festival in scotland, sagmeister was asked to promote and unify the series of
events that took place over two weeks across the country. all the monkeys were inflated on the same day and held
a word from the phrase ‘everybody always thinks they are right’ in each city, allowing for the news media to
pick up the story and piece together the whole event resulting in more free publicity than could be bought.

image © stefan sagmeister

‘things I have learned in my life so far’ 2008
collection of stories of the whole project in individual pamphlets allowing for viewer to change the cover.


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