sagmeister & walsh interview and recent work
sagmeister & walsh interview and recent work sagmeister & walsh interview and recent work
jun 19, 2012

sagmeister & walsh interview and recent work

identity for ‘stefan sagmeister – the happy show‘ at ICA, april 4 until august 12th, 2012all images courtesy of sagmeister & walsh see designboom’s coverage of the exhibition here


designboom spoke to stefan sagmeister and jessica walsh of sagmeister & walsh about their new partnership and that mailer.

views of ‘the happy show’




designboom: how do you divide the workload?


stefan: jessica will be in charge of the more commercial pieces, I will be in charge of the more self-generated ones but there will be plenty of cross over. on most projects one will be in charge and other will comment.


jessica: stefan summed it up. generally we will work together on everything,  but there may be a few personal projects where we work more independently.


DB: stefan, when did you decide you’d like to make jessica your partner?


stefan: it all started with my desire for a fancier studio space. after looking at about 60 offices and finally finding the right one,  it occurred to me that I really did not want to take on the extra overhead that would force us to do more (high paying) commercial jobs, when my own desire was to create more self-generated work like ‘the happy film’.  jessica had handled large projects like aishti and EDP for a while, so this was the right time to approach this and I thought she will make a wonderful partner as she is fantastically prolific in all aspects of design: she can come up with a great idea, execute it, explain it and get it produced.




DB: jessica, how did it feel to be offered such an opportunity?


jessica: it is of course a huge honor to be a partner with stefan.


DB: do you think the new dynamic of the studio will change your output?


stefan: the desire is always to create work that either helps or delights people.


jessica: we hope to both benefit from the partnership and by extension so will our work and our clients. we hope to be able to do more self-authored projects  while continuing to do client work that we are both excited about and believe in. we’ve started taking on more film, commercial and web projects in the past year which we both enjoy and will likely do more of.





DB: did the online reaction to your promotional mailer surprise you at all?


stefan: I was deeply hurt by all the foreskin comments. I am very fond of it. I might start to work it out more.


jessica: I read the comments, but I had expected and was prepared for negative comments. I laughed! mostly the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.


DB: were you keeping track of what was being said on the design blogs, twitter etc.?


stefan: no, but that’s a good idea. it could become its own little design project, or not.


jessica: we’ll do that now, maybe compile the good and bad ones.

aishti identity, 2011




DB: did it give you any food for thought?


stefan: we want to do more of it. flood the net with images of my socks. my socks will have their own facebook page, soon.


jessica: naked christmas cards?

aishti identity, 2011




DB: could you tell us a bit about what you are working on now and what we can expect from your studio in the near future?


stefan: we are working on the happy film, to be released in fall 2013. and starting to work on design with no purpose… please don’t ask, I don’t quite understand it myself yet. also a middle eastern department store, a new museum project, about three exhibits and five books.


jessica: this week the studio is working on designing a poster, a book, the new studio identity, and a website. we’re also finishing up a new advertising campaign  for one of our fashion clients. in the past few years we’ve had a great mix of projects ranging from design for advertising, exhibitions, books, print, commercials to film.


DB: your site streams live footage of your studio all day everyday, are you overly conscious that you are being watched?


stefan: no.


jessica: thousands of people have now seen me naked, so I would hope people seeing me work wouldn’t make me nervous!

aishti bags, 2011 – the bags feature kissing couples inside




DB: what piece of advice should every graphic designer remember?


stefan: if you are fresh out of school, look for a design company that does the kind of work you want to do. try really hard to get a job with them. work your ass off. then start your own place.


jessica: do work you love and are passionate about,  look outside of the world of graphic design for inspiration.


aishti identity, 2011




DB: what piece of advice should every graphic designer ignore?


stefan: ‘the computer is just a tool’ if you believe that, you are a tool.


jessica: tools

aishti identity, 2011

aishti identity, 2011

aishti identity, 2011

aishti identity, 2011

cut paper photo illustrations for the aishti minis advertising campaign, 2011

aishti minis is a children’s department store based in beirut. campaign images were used in newspapers, magazines, and billboards in the middle east

aizone identity, 2010

aizone identity, 2010

aizone identity, 2010

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

aizone spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

EDP identity, 2011  (portugese energy company)

EDP website, 2011

EDP identity, 2011

story identity, 2011

story identity, 2011 – story is a concept store in chelsea, new york

story identity, 2011

story identity, 2011

story identity, 2011

  • fuck graphic design, eh? just show nudes! it sells!

    g says:
  • best article for ages! no, not because of the nudders. Love the stairs and the gumball machine…

    KABOOMI says:
  • What an amazing work…What would you do better than this Delightfull

    Nicholle Allen says:
  • Ooops, i mean [url=] Delightfull [/url]

    Nicholle Allen says:
  • Jessica is hot

    (sorry, someone had to say it)

    dbkii says:

    moderndesign2120 says:
  • Great Work!!!

    Johnnie Autard says:
  • awesome, possum….

    jfp says:
  • Amazing work… fuck the close-mindedness of negative people. This is genius.
    Plus, if anyone thinks the human body is something wrong, there’s something wrong with them. We all have one. Keep it up, love both’s work.

    FPA says:
  • I’m looking forward for the results.

    Gertuz says:
  • [url=]jocuri[/url] beautiful 🙂

    jocuri says:
  • he’s proofing the obvious = sex sells (even when you wear socks) 🙂

    me says:
  • Jessica you are SOOOOOOoooOOOooOOoOooOOoooooooooOOOOOOO HOT!!!!!!!!!
    So nice to see such a beauty!

    Turo says:
  • I just wanna understand…
    can anyone explain why they got nude?
    what’s their intention?

    apple says:
  • It is awesome!!!!! seriously!!!! awesome!

    siji says:
  • @ apple. They got nude to get attention and it worked. Everyone is speaking about their work. It seems to be a marketing strategy.

    Sergio Torre says:
  • Put some clothes on, the 70s ended years ago.

    aunty says:
  • That’s what I call casual friday!

    Moby's dick says:
  • Her mother told her to keep her knees crossed. Formerly a Blond, she did not think that had anything to do with keeping her clothes on.

    Jim C. says:
  • You know what? I am almost seventy years old and I truly try to appreciate any type of artistic im- or ex-pressionism. I am a child of the sixties. I have spent lovely times with beautiful people in large pools of gorgeously chlorinated water. Naked.

    Then, somewhere in the purple haze of the sixties, I saw, “I am curious yellow”…

    Since then I have felt such antipathy to people who think that just because they are undressed, they are less “inhibited” thereby intruing into the creative realm.

    My question is, most of the time: why is it that the people who look the least appetizing, feel the need to shows off their pathetic bodies, their less than perfect skeletal structures, their dressing either to the left or right but never RIGHT, and often accompanied by a female (as a diversion?) hoping that because of the tit-tillation and the twat, they can get away with looking not so much frumpy but “avant garde”. They want to get our attention and they never ever realize that in our time, with all the surgical reconstruction and prosthetics, no one, seriously is interested in the reality of a mediocre prick and a woman with hips that do not scream “child bearing”.

    peen says:
  • All i can hope for is that sage meister does not chop of walsh’s package. And why on earth would two rather unattractive naked people try to promote their stuff this way? To be truthful, I’d be worried they had sat on all of it

    sagab says:
  • refreshing!!! 🙂

    bludge says:
  • @Peen It must have been quite a relieve to get that out. (-;
    Some get naked to get attention, some write a piece about it to achieve the same (why write if no one reads)
    +1 for the proze as such if a bit harsh. Beauty is in the eye……yaddayadda et cetera

    marc says:
  • for those who are wondering why they are actually naked…
    take a look at the sagmeister inc. mailer, he made, when he founded his own company about 20 years ago.

    smple says:
  • Who give a f#%k if the two are naked, their work is amazing!

  • Incredible art, marvelous execution 🙂

    abhi says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,379 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample