Stefan Sagmeister is a graphic designer from Austria living in New York. I’m a bit under his impression for a few days now because past weekend I went to Vienna to see his exhibition The Happy Show. What I like the most about his work is the way thoughts about life are presented. Some thoughts that occur daily, some that last a lifetime. He always finds new ways to express design and typography. One of such is the presentation of a thought “Complaining is silly, either act or forget”.

Sagmeister worked in collaboration with Prateek Rungta to make a billboard on top of their studio’s roof in New York. They put newsprint paper on it with stencils and leave it on the sun for a week. The newsprint paper turned yellow but remained white under the stencils. The paper was shipped to Portugal in Lisbon and it was left there on the sun. The quote disappeared after time to emphasise its meaning and making the meaning even more powerful.

I heard about Stefan Sagmeister during my studying years. When I listened to his lecture on a conference three years ago I was blown away. He talked about his journey towards happiness and what he discovered along the way. He continues to do so in The Happy Show which is full of little conclusions that he discovered. The exhibition in Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna is opened until Monday, March 28 so if you want to visit it hurry up.

About two year ago I started to think about my lip piercing. I’ve had it with me for seven fairytale years and I din’t knew what I to do with it. Keep it on to remind me of my “rebellious” years or put it away and by doing so enter the next chapter of my life. One night I remembered Stefan’s quote Either act or forget and I put it away without hesitation.

I sent a photo of the piercing – a little piece of metal not being a part of me anymore – with Sagmeister’s quote Either act or forget to a friend who later became my boyfriend. He is probably the greatest fan of Stefan Sagmeister. He asked me if I could give him my piercing because he wants to make something special with it. Few months later I received a present from him. He made a design piece from my piercing combined with that quote. It was all beautifully framed and the piercing displayed as a museum artefact to remind me of the meaning of the quote. It is one of my favourite art pieces ever since.