Phaidon Press, New York, 2023, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
Paperback with flaps, presented within a die-cut slipcase, 9 1/2 x 6 3/4 in., 264 pages, 300 color illustrations
ISBN: 9781838666965

From the Publisher: Stefan Sagmeister’s visual feast of a book that challenges the persistent negative tone of the current news cycle. This body of work continues Sagmeister’s lifelong preoccupation with how design can touch people’s hearts and improve their lives. Initially conceived in 2020 as the world entered a global pandemic, Now is Better looks at quality of life issues through collected statistics and information, revealing that—despite how we may feel on a day-to-day basis—things are much better now than they used to be, inspiring us to think about the future with much-needed hope.

Combining art, design, history, and quantitative analysis, Sagmeister transforms data sets into stunning artworks. The visualized data is shown inlaid into nineteenth-century oil paintings, embroidered onto canvases, or transformed into dynamic lenticular prints and hand-painted tableware, many of which have been exhibited in galleries around the world.

Underlying themes of positivity throughout the book are bolstered by a foreword from psychologist and leading authority on language and the mind Steven Pinker; a featured essay by design historian Steven Heller; and a conversation between Sagmeister and Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator and artistic director of Serpentine Galleries in London.

Held in a die-cut slipcase with custom typography that interacts with the cover artwork beneath, the compact softcover book features silver foil edges. Each book includes a lenticular print designed by Sagmeister, poignantly expressing the increasing percentage of the global population living in democracies between 1915 and 2015.

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