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All Access by Stefan Bucher

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Job no:81378-5 Title : RP_All Access (New PB Verdions) Client : Pro-vision
Scn :
#
175 Size : 203.2(w)254(h)mm Co : M6 (mac J)
Dept : DTP D/O : 22.10.05 (Job no:000000 D/O : 00.00.04 Co: CM0)
5th Black
p43
43
1982 1997
NOW
5
STEFAN
EISTER
S
tefan Sagmeister was born in 1962, in Bregenz, a small town by Lake Constance, where the very
western tip of Austria meets Switzerland and Germany. Early memories of school involve teachers
that would not have seemed out of place in a German language version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
They quickly awakened Sagmeister’s rebellious nature but left him otherwise uninspired.
Declining to follow in the footsteps of his two older brothers who had received business degrees and become
fashion retailers, he went to engineering school. In a student body of respectable young men on their way
to becoming engineers, Sagmeister’s long hair and counter-culture attitude won him few friends among his
fellow students or the faculty. He stuck it out for three years and managed to join a band in the meantime,
an experience that taught him one valuable lesson. “We spent most of our time looking through amp and
guitar magazines, dreaming of grand equipment out of conviction that we’d be just as great as our heroes
if only we could get our hands on that great loudspeaker/amp/microphone. I did not make that silly mistake
again as a designer. My tools make me only marginally better.
After engineering school, he transferred to the college of the neighboring town of Dornbirn. He joined the
editorial team of the left-wing quarterly Alphorn and took over its design. “I found out I liked doing layouts
more than writing.
T
HE MASTER CLASS SYSTEM Sagmeister graduated from Dornbirn at age ninteen and soon moved
to Vienna to finish his academic career with a masters degree from the prestigious University of
Applied Arts, known in Austria as Die Angewandte. “Die Angewandte has a master-class system:
You are with the same professor for the entire four years. This system works well if your professor is great,
and less so if not. Our professor was old and had not kept up with developments in design, so what we
could learn from him were the basics: composition, typography, and grid systems.”
There are bands you listen to and then there are bands that make you
want to start a band. Stefan Sagmeister is a designer that makes you
want to be a designer. Over the past ten years, he has created a body
of highly visible work that is driven not by stylewhich in Sagmeister’s
world still equals fartbut by intelligent thoughts, funny ideas, and
a good heart. At a time when ironic detachment is still the safe choice,
Sagmeister is making it acceptable for designers to be sincere.
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