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).
Sagmeister’s signature scribbly type appears in a poster for the AIGA Biennial Conference in New Orleans. The headless chicken strutting across a field is at the same time a metaphor of the profession of graphic designer, an invitation to stop running around and attend the conference, a voodoo symbol linked to the site of the conference, and a statement against the abuse of technology and the over-sleek graphics of the 1990s.
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.