As graphic designers go, there’s few so notorious as Stefan Sagmeister. The Austrian creative has never shied away from controversy, from the nude publicity shots he used to promote his fledgling one-man studio to the, erm… nude publicity shots he used to promote that same studio’s appointment of a new partner. But there’s more to Sagmeister than just bare flesh and tube socks. As a designer he’s constantly pushed the boundaries of what the design elite, and latterly the general public, perceive to be good design, and in the process developed a globally recognised visual vernacular. You can’t mistake that Sagmeister style.
We’re pretty late to the table with this (though the spot only recently went live on Sagmeister’s Behance profile) but we were intrigued to discover design’s enfant terrible utilise his visual language to promote a super-conservative global bank. Given the studio’s reputation it seems like an unconventional pairing – one would expect a bank to keep a safe distance from any potential controversy – and we’d naturally expect a client of this size to hamper the creative direction of the project.
But with this spot for Standard Chartered Commercial the Sagmeister vernacular seems to be firmly intact, albeit diluted slightly by a folksy soundtrack. Regardless of your opinion of the financial industry this is one lovely piece of film, and it’s reassuring to see the studio maintain its creative integrity when dealing with a giant brand.
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