Stefan Sagmeister (John Madere)
Stefan Sagmeister (John Madere)

Renowned Designer Brings Exhibition to Athens

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The Ohio University School of Art + Design is sponsoring a month-long exhibition and a public presentation by renowned New York-based graphic designer and letterist Stefan Sagmeister. The exhibition will begin in September.

Sagmeister is co-founder of Sagmeister & Walsh, a design firm that creates identities, commercials, websites, apps, films, books and other projects. Sagmeister has spent many years designing for the music industry and has received several Grammy Awards for his designs. He has worked for The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, and Aerosmith, among others. Sagmeister has delivered several TED talks, and has exhibited his work in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Paris, Lausanne, Zurich, Vienna, Prague, Cologne and Berlin.

An exhibition of selected work, titled Stefan Sagmeister: Now is Better, will be on view Sept. 1 through Oct. 10 at the Trisolini Gallery in Baker University Center. The artist will showcase a recent self-promotional video that received the 2013 New York Festival International Advertising Award and a 2013 award by the Global Association for Creative Advertising & Design.

Sagmeister suggests the title Now is Better refers to his perception that “we’d much rather live now than at any other time in history. This is the first time that large parts of the world population can be in charge of their own destiny.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the artist will present a lecture titled “Happiness” on Monday, Sept. 14. Sagmeister will share clips from his yet to be released documentary feature, The Happy Film, and discuss his outlook on design, his origins, and the importance of taking risks in creativity. This free public event is scheduled for 5-7:30 p.m. in room 135 Walter Hall on the campus of Ohio University.

As part of his visit, Sagmeister will lead two master classes with graduate students, giving them an opportunity to discuss their work and professional interests in a forum of open studio critique. He will also be holding a separate workshop open to all students interested in design that has emotional impact. About this workshop, Sagmeister says, “There is very little material that truly moves the viewer, material that has the ability to make the viewer think.”

“Sagmeister seemed particularly relevant for our school. His work is provocative and personal and it pushes boundaries in the field of graphic design both commercially and as a personal practice,” said Mark Franz, assistant professor and chair of Graphic Design.

The exhibition and visiting artist events are made possible through the support of Arts for Ohio, The Department of Graphic Design, the School of Art + Design, the College of Fine Arts, the Create_Space Lab and Ohio University Art Galleries.