Stefan Sagmeister Finds Optimism in the Long View
The Austrian-born, New York–based graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister has a rare knack for tackling broad, universal subjects—happiness and beauty, most notably—and distilling them in illuminating ways that offer new insights. For his latest project, the book Now Is Better, just out from Phaidon, he’s taken on the subject of long-term thinking, arguing that never before in human history have things been better for us as a species. Through exquisite graphic arrangements and sharp data sets, he shows that our circumstances are still improving. Now is indeed better. First started in the 2020 lockdown, the project vividly brings statistics to life through a range of media, including lenticular prints, artworks that inlay charts into 19th-century paintings, and even hand-painted water glasses.