Archive for the ‘Things I Have Learned So Far’ Category

Update On Recent “Irritation”

April 16th, 2009

Just a quick update: an email I received from Daniel Nettle. See post for initial post.

Hi Brian
To my embarrassment I have no idea what I meant either. My excuse is that I am away from home and don’t have access to my copy to check the context, but off the top of my head, who knows? Perhaps it was a pretentious way of emphasising that art creates a shared experience (between Stefan and us, the viewer). On the other hand, don’t underestimate my ability to have just written it down wrong or something. However, in the event that I work out something deeper that I meant, I’ll let you know.
Best wishes

It’s cool that he took time out of his schedule to address my email, and even cooler that he gave a simple shrug and the “I have no idea either”. But still keeping the option that there may be a deeper answer that without the context of the essay itself he has forgotten.

Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned So Far

Irritated By This Little Tidbit.

April 12th, 2009

Reflection Is A Deeply Personal Activity that takes different forms for different individuals. However, we can also tap into the reservoir of the reflections of other human beings through the ages. We do this through reading, through conversation, and through art, and it is a great consolation and source of strength to us. Thus, Stefan is right when he says Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life, but in another way, we are not alone. Stefan is traveling with us.

This is an excerpt of a group of essays found in my current book. And my question is, Why is Stefan traveling with us exactly? I suppose it would be true if I was actually reading his book while traveling and thus, taking his personal reflections with me. But this isn’t what Daniel Nettle is saying. Perhaps he is just not saying it clear. But why is Stefan Sagmeister always traveling with me? Is it because the moment I read his book, his reflections are forever in my brain, and therefore always with me when I travel? I have no idea, but the statement was just outright odd. I’ve read many books, and I’ve been confused by many statements, but obviously there is a collaboration between Daniel and Stefan. Daniel wrote the essay, and Stefan placed it in his book, so he agrees as well. Why the hell is Stefan traveling with us?? And why would we want that?

I have a feeling I’m either missing his point or this guy really is God’s greatest gift to me.

Someone help me sort this out. Here, Daniel, maybe if I link to you using your name, Daniel Nettle, you will see this and answer me. Thanks in advance.


I wrote this post, and 5 seconds later I said “screw it” and wrote the dude an email. We’ll see if he responds.

Hi Daniel,

I’m currently reading Stefan’s book and I read your essay and was wondering if you could take a moment out of your undoubtedly busy day to expound a little more on your last section of your essay contained therein.

Contained therein? I don’t really talk like that, honestly.

I have a simple question, why is Stefan traveling with us? I read quite a bit, and consider myself having above average intelligence, but for the life of me I could not sort out what this line was really saying. This was by far the clearest and most poignant of all the essays, but then at the end I read this line and stopped dead in my tracks. I thought and thought and thought, but for the life of me I couldn’t make sense of it. Was it the spirit of Stefan that was with us? Was it that we, having read/viewed his inner reflections, would have a bit of Stefan with us as we “travel”? Was it a cryptic metaphor? Is Stefan the symbol of inner reflection and thus, always with us? I’m not quite sure what you mean. Everything else you wrote, that I understood, was brilliant.

Thanks in advance for the clarification,

Brian Utley Cottonwood Heights, UT USA


Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned So Far

Here, I’ll Save You $40

April 12th, 2009

The 20 Things Stefan Sagmeister has learned so far:

  • Everybody Thinks He Is Right
  • Starting A Charity Is Surprisingly Easy
  • Worrying Solves Nothing
  • Money Does Not Make Me Happy
  • Trying To Look Good Limits My Life
  • Everything I Do Always Comes Back To Me
  • Helping Others Helps Me
  • Over Time I Get Used To Everything And Start Taking It For Granted
  • Actually Doing The Things Set Out To Do Increases Satisfaction
  • Traveling Alone Is Helpful For A New Perspective On Life
  • Everybody Who Is Honest Is Interesting
  • Keeping A Diary Supports Personal Development
  • Drugs Feel Great At The Beginning And Become A Drag Later On
  • Thinking Life Will Be Better In The Future Is Stupid. I Have To Live Life Now
  • Complaining Is Silly. Either Act Or Forget
  • Low Expectations Are A Good Strategy
  • Material Luxuries Are Best Enjoyed In Small Doses
  • Assuming Is Stifling
  • Being Not Truthful Always Works Against Me
  • Having Guts Always Works Out For Me

So there you have it. I haven’t finished the book yet, as I just started it last night, but so far so good. I haven’t ever read a book like this, a book on graphic design. I’m not a graphic designer and I have no interest in becoming a graphic designer. But like Stefan says, graphic design is just a language and there’s no reason you can’t learn more than one. I don’t speak graphic design, but I can still know the graphic design world a little better than I did yesterday.

Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned So Far