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Things I have learned in my life so far

Things I have learned in my life so far


Stefan Sagmeister; Daniel Nettle;  
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Product Description

This book began as a list designer Stefan Sagmeister made in his diary under the title Things I have learned in my life so far, which includes statements such as "Worrying solves nothing" and "Trying to look good limits my life." The list reveals something that is profoundly true: Although human beings have been pursuing happiness for countless generations, it is not so easily achieved. And we need constant reminders to keep us on the right path.

With the support of his clients, Sagmeister transformed these sentences into typographic works, from billboards in France to sign-toting inflatable monkeys on the streets of Scotland. Accompanied by essays from design historian Steven Heller, Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector, and UK psychologist Daniel Nettle, as well as Sagmeister's own words, the series is revealed as a complex blend of personal revelation, art, and design--an eclectic mix of visual audacity and sound advice.

This book consists of 15 unbound signatures in a laser-cut slipcase. Shuffling the sequence of the signatures will produce 15 different covers.

About the Author

Stefan Sagmeister is one of the most influential graphic designers working today. Since 1993, Sagmeister Inc. has focused on all things printed. He lives in New York.

Daniel Nettle is a reader in Psychology at Newcastle University and is the author of Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile.

Steven Heller is co-chair of the MFA/Design program at the School of Visual Arts. Review

Amazon Best of the Month, March 2008: Many consider Stefan Sagmeister to be our most important living designer, but he reaches beyond design circles in sharing 20 Things I have learned in my life so far, including the fact that "keeping a diary supports personal development." Proving his point, this book grew from a list in his diary during a year-long commercial hiatus. He returned to paid work with greater freedom from clients and himself, and created a series of projects spelling out personal truths--"worrying solves nothing," "trying to look good limits my life," and other simple, meaningful statements. Most are public and interactive (words spelled out on the backs of swimmers in the Hudson River, or displayed by enormous blow-up monkeys lounging around Scotland, or flaming in Singaporean bamboo scaffolding), while others are more private experiments with intriguing materials (sausages, cacti, sperm). All are presented--along with personal anecdotes supporting his assertions and notes on the practicalities of creating each project--in an alluringly interactive format: a "box" of 15 booklets with unique covers that can be switched to transform the look of the case from creepy to lovely. --Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly

In 2000, Austrian born, New York-based graphic designer Sagmeister created this book's eponymous list in his diary, including twenty statements such as: "Trying to Look Good Limits My Life," "Assuming is Stifling" and "Worry Solves Nothing." These "maxims," which Sagmeister admits verge on the "banal" but which are also devoid of cynicism, were transformed into art projects: "Assuming is Stifling" graced the cover of a Japanese annual report; "Everybody Always Thinks They are Right" was represented by six 33-foot white inflatable monkeys, each one displaying a different word. This "design book for non-designers" is itself an experiment in form, comprised of 15 booklets in a box whose cover is a cut out of Sagmeister's face; when inserted, each completes the portrait in a different way. One of the booklets includes essays on Sagmeister's oeuvre, the most interesting by critic Heller, who states: "This is truly the nexus of art and design in the service of expression." This book is bound to be of interest to followers of Sagmeister's work, as well as to the general reader in search of an invigorating approach to graphic design and, one might argue, autobiography.
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