The Creator’s Project: Stefan Sagmeister On Why Good Design Is About Taking Risks

The famous designer and recent partner Jessica Walsh explain why turning off the computer is still important for today’s creatives.

“The heart of most creative work is purposeful play,” says Jessica Walsh in the opening of the video above and, from looking at their campaigns, it’s obvious that this idea is central to Sagmeister & Walsh’s creative outlook. In the interview both these renowned designers give an insight into their working methods, where we learn how turning a computer off is just as important as turning it on—and how every project, from fashion to websites, are approached as “unique problem-solving challenges.”

Sagmeister is known for using intimacy in his work, like creating ad campaigns out of life lessons and reproducing a diary entry into visually captivating typography. It’s this honesty, combined with a playful and unconventional approach, that defines the Sagmeister & Walsh aesthetic.

sagmeister walsh campaign

For instance, when discussing the work they did for luxury brand Aishti, Walsh notes how they injected some fun into the campaign by using experimental typography (below)—light-paint calligraphy, words made from hair, flowing dresses, balloons, colored powder—to revive antique proverbs and create a “memorable visual language” for the brand.

sagmeister walsh advertising

Beauty, wit, humor, shock, function. All these run through Sagmeister & Walsh’s work and inform their leftfield approach to design—it’s an approach where risk-taking leads to innovation and originality, and gives this six-person company such a unique standing in the industry.

For more on Stefan Sagmeister and his methods, watch our documentary on him below.

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