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sagmeister & walsh

photography used on the promotional mailer sent out to announce the new partnership of sagmeister and walsh

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

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.  

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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?

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.   

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!

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. 

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.

identity for 'stefan sagmeister - the happy show' at ICA, april 4 until august 12th, 2012
see designboom's coverage of the exhibition here

views of 'the happy show'... 

aishti identity, 2011
aishti bags, 2011 - the bags feature kissing couples inside

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 spring / summer 2011 campaign images, 2011

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

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