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Things I have learned in my life so far Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams; Slp edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995291
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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5 stars service!
JuanD
His first book was a great look into his work, and this is an amazing look into what he believes in - and it's worth learning about.
Guilherme Borchert
This is a true magical book.
Kuang Huang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Paul L. Goebert on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
"trying to look good limits my life" and "everything I do always comes back to me" are two of my favorites.
I have always admired Stefan Sagmeister's ability to bring together a sincerity of purpose with a lot of (obvious) fun in the realization of his projects. I myself had a lot of fun reading and looking at this "book", after having seen the same titled show in New York City, detecting details that escaped me at the very crowded gallery, chuckling at the whimsy and imagination that went into it.
As in "Made You Look", Stefan wraps his pieces with delightful and sometimes very personal stories and anecdotes, which definitely adds to the overall impression that this is not just another design book, it's a great way to meet an artist/designer who has something to say, and who does it well.
I bought five copies at the show, they make great gifts. Maybe I should have waited for the amazon discount, though. Highly recommended.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kuang Huang on February 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book just blew me away. The images are powerful, the sentences are inspiring, the formats are innovative and best of all, I had such fun changing the booklets inside to see new covers thru the laser-cut-out case. This is a true magical book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anwyl Ltd LLC on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Things I've learned in my life so far", represents Stefan's latest gift to the world and a rare glimpse into the mind and passion of one of today's most gifted designers and thinkers. Commanding interaction, masterfully crafted and produced, it touches, pokes, illuminates, challenges, and inspires even the most casual of reader. With each page Stefan treats us, as only he can, to a boundless buffet of evocative unfettered visual expression, striking all of the emotional chords in perfect pitch. Softly sprinkled throughout is a common sense perspective on life, art, and our world that is at once both poignant, and refreshingly warm. This is a must read publication, whether you're a senior executive, stay at home mom, instructor, young designer, artist, or a seasoned communications professional. Congratulations!
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55 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Design Student on May 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was excited about this publication by one of the century's foremost design icons. Imagine my surprise when I opened the long-awaited package to discover that it is not a book at all! Just a short series of paper promotion-style vanity pieces containing entertaining truisms, but little substance. As a design student, I feel this is nothing but a waste of my hard-earned money. I expected a great deal more from Sagmeister. I will definitely be returning this "book." It is nothing more than a coffee table gimmick and a commercial sell-out.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Johnson on March 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have Sagmeister's two other books, and this 15 pamphlet folio is another winner. It's exceptionally well produced (why am I not surprised). Having seen Stefan Sagmeister speak twice, I was delighted to see many of the images I've seen him use in his talks not only in this book but discussed in detail; both the ideas behind them and tales of their production.

Buy one for yourself, buy one for a gift - I can't imagine anyone who enjoys design or just thinking about living that wouldn't be delighted by this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mitzie on April 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great surprise to find several books encased together - each filled with a visual representations of one of Stefan's lessons in life. Each lesson is uniquely made, from billboards, to snails, to sugar, his quotes are composed typographically in the most unexpected ways. The book covers for each lesson make an interesting look for his face when interchanged with the die cut cover. If you are a fan, you will look at these books over and over and wonder how he thought of some of these. Some will make you laugh and some might gross you out, but each are completely interesting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Madere on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Stefan Sagmeister's book is a brilliant, hilarious, and entertaining exploration of this supremely inventive graphic designer's creative process and life's lessons. His intense engagement with the world through playful and ingenious interaction of words and images is graphic design at its very best. Who else could impart wisdom with so much fun using everything from giant angry monkeys to microbes? I can't wait to see what he does next.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Pollock on February 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sagmeister's work refuses to just sit there and be looked at - this is way beyond just design: it compels you to become a part of it. Every image is a revelation - and demands detailed study. This book has stories too - little tales and observations about Stefan's life that are not only moving, but forced me to think of my own life and what I have learned along the way. And all along I am swapping out the booklets and changing the image seen through the cover - first Stefan is a flower garden - then he's a monkey - it's all in there. Amazing.
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