Sagmeister began his design career at the age of 15 at "Alphorn", an Austrian Youth magazine. He studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and at the Pratt Institute in New York on a Fulbright Scholarship. After briefly working in Hong Kong with Leo Burnett's design group and for Tibor Kalman's M&Co company in New Yori, Stefan Sagmeister formed the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed branding, graphics, and packaging for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, the Guggenheim Museum and Time Warner.
Sagmeister goes on a year-long sabbatical around every seven years, where he does not take work from clients. He is resolute about this, even if the work is tempting, and has displayed this by declining an offer to design a poster for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Sagmeister spends the year experimenting with personal work and refreshing himself as a designer.
Designing Album Covers
Stefan Sagmeister has become notable for his work designing album covers, and is a long-standing artistic collaborator with musicians David Byrne and Lou Reed. Sagmeister received a Grammy Award in 2005 in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category for art directing Once in a Lifetime box set by Talking Heads. He received a second Grammy Award for his design of the David Byrne and Brian Eno album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today in the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package category on January 31, 2010.