Sagmeister set up his graphic design studio in New York in 1993, focusing at first on the music industry—his CD covers for Lou Reed, David Byrne, and the Rolling Stones are well known—then on other commercial commissions and pro bono cultural projects such as a series of posters for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
In his most famous poster, for a lecture at Cranbrook college near Detroit, Sagmeister sought to visually convey the pain that accompanies most of the studio’s design projects. He asked an intern to carve all the text onto his own torso with an X-Acto knife and photograph the result.
This poster typifies Stefan Sagmeister’s at once striking and humorous style as well as his ability to come up with a compelling concept and execute it with a raw and straightforward technique.
Gallery label from Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge, November 26, 2008–October 12, 2009.