Sagmeister & Walsh - Answers

Sagmeister & Walsh


The naked photo

Did you consider any alternative methods of announcing the partnership, or was this always the lead concept?

Stefan: We show our clients only one concept, so we showed ourselves only one too.

The naked photo

Whose idea was the naked promotional photo?

Jessica: Stefan had the idea to do a postcard that was a nod to the original announcement he made when he opened the studio 19 years ago. His idea was that i'd be dressed in conservative clothing, and he'd be naked. I had an immediate gut reaction that it'd be better  if we were both nude, and that's what we did. 
DesignBoom, 2012

The naked photo

Many would argue that appearing naked in this symbolic way is a natural product of the fine art world – where do you draw the line between high-concept art and commercial design? Is there a happy middle ground?

Stefan: I can only re-quote Donald Judd who said that design had to work, art does not. This card is design, as it worked very hard.

Running a Studio, The naked photo

I'd like to discuss the balance between ego and personality in design. There's been a lot of discussion about the way you announced the partnership of course, how it back-references Stefan's original announcement from 19 years ago, and how it's still relevant today. What's your take on this?

Stefan: The desire was to send something out that announced the new partnership. What we did send out did achieve that. I would call it a proper piece of functional design. Ads you can see in the photo, my ego is big. Jessica's ego is not so big.