Stefan Sagmeister wants you to show him your beauty

Got a vision of man-made loveliness? Then the great New York graphic designer would like to hear from you
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Stefan in "one of the most beautiful new buildings in the vicinity of my hometown in Austria, the Islamic Cemetery by Bernardo Bader in Altach." All images courtesy of Stefan's Instagram
Stefan in "one of the most beautiful new buildings in the vicinity of my hometown in Austria, the Islamic Cemetery by Bernardo Bader in Altach." All images courtesy of Stefan's Instagram

Stefan Sagmeister isn’t afraid of collaboration. Throughout his career he has worked closely with the likes of Jay-Z, Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones and David Byrne to produce immensely creative, often award-winning record covers, posters and other visual material. You can see some of his work in our book Graphic 500 Designs that Matter.

However, the world-famous graphic designer is also willing to work with less high-profile figures. For the last few months he has been offering short reviews of fellow designers’ projects on his Instagram @StefanSagmeister.

 

Doro Ottermann's barnacled beer bottle submission (courtesy of @dorobot)
Doro Ottermann's barnacled beer bottle submission (courtesy of @dorobot)

More recently, he has been asking users to send in images of “the most beautiful thing you can think of” for a project his design practice, Sagmeister & Walsh, is working on.

As ever, Sagmeister has a few criteria. “It should be human made,” he posts, “no nature pictures, animals or beautiful people.” He also asks correspondents to include a short description as well as their Instagram address.

 

Aakriti Khurana's dried leaves and flowers submission (image courtesy of @_aakritikhurana)
Aakriti Khurana's dried leaves and flowers submission (image courtesy of @_aakritikhurana)

Not everyone has stuck to these rules rigidly. The German illustrator and author Doro Ottermann (@dorobot) sent in a really great barnacle covered beer bottle: “somebody dropped this at sea as garbage,” she writes, “sea improved and later returned it for me to find it”. Meanwhile, the Indian illustrator Aakriti Khurana (@_aakritikhurana) submitted a picture of wonderfully pressed flowers: "(I) live in Hyderabad, India and I collect dead flowers & leaves to preserve them.”

 

Cédric Thévenot's train window submission (image courtesy of @cedric.theveno
Cédric Thévenot's train window submission (image courtesy of @cedric.theveno

However, other correspondents have sent in great, manmade submissions. The Parisian Cédric Thévenot (@cedric.thevenot) posted a shot of a graffitied train window, viewed from inside the carriage: “When the trip was over, I came out to see the graffiti from outside and I remember I found it quite ugly”. And the Mexican-born, NYC-based, designer João Marcopito (@sigaojoao) sent in his shot of the roof of the ceiling of Charles de Gaulle airport “gorgeous”.

 

João Marcopito's Charles de Gaulle airport submission  (image courtesy of @sigaojoao)
João Marcopito's Charles de Gaulle airport submission (image courtesy of @sigaojoao)

Andif you want more photographic snatches of beauty from a world-class creative you can start by getting hold of a copy of John Pawson’s Spectrum here.


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