Loud Bark

Long before she became editor of dogs and culture magazine Four&Sons, Marta Roca was enamoured of the canine cover of Stefan Sagmeister’s fearless monograph Made You Look.

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When Made You Look came out almost fifteen years ago, I was pretty much fresh out of college and knee deep in (and still am to a degree) Swiss design. In my opinion, clean, measured typography and a well thought-out grid was always a fertile ground for endless possibilities. I was soaking in Müller-Brockmann and dreaming of a job at North or Cartlidge Levene. This should paint you a picture.

Suddenly, enter Mr Stefan Sagmeister and his rare brand of fearless thinking. 

Made You Look is a monograph of his studio’s work – it hits you from cover to cover. Sagmeister still boasts today that the book includes some of the bad stuff they produced, which is true! The volume is protected with a red transparent slip case which, when removed, reveals an image printed in red and green. Looking at the cover with or without the red ‘filter’ completely transforms the cover image: a harmless German Shepherd becomes a snarling, menacing beast. 

I loved the immediacy and the image-making mastery. This was years before Four&Sons took hold of my career. The book juxtaposes Sagmeister’s diary entries with historian Peter Hall’s assessments of the work. Some of the projects included are as iconic at it gets: the revolver made from wood type apostrophes, the Lou Reed poster with lyrics written all over Reed’s closeup, Sagmeister’s own body carved with the information about his upcoming AIGA lecture. Not only the content in the book was interesting, but also the way it became an object with a life of its own. It was relevant and exciting. It made you think, and more than anything, it made you want to get down to business and do great work.


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