Interview by Claudia Gould
Austrian-born, New York-based graphic designer, typographer and artist Stefan Sagmeister (born in 1962) often tests and transgresses the boundary between art and design through his imaginative implementation of typography. The Happy Film Pitch Book both documents Sagmeister’s touring exhibition, The Happy Show, and anticipates his ongoing feature length film, The Happy Film. In both projects, Sagmeister undergoes a series of self-experiments (each experiment lasting three months)--with meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals--attempting to improve his personal happiness. The Happy Show, Sagmeister’s first museum show in the United States, documents his adventures in video, print, infographics, sculpture and interactive installations, most of which were custom-made for this exhibition. Here, Sagmeister offers his own witty and poignant thoughts and reasons for his ten-year exploration of happiness. Throughout the book, Sagmeister’s trademark maxims serve as access points to a larger exploration of happiness, its cultural significance, our constant pursuit of it and its notoriously ephemeral nature.