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Comments Posted 06.08.10 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Mark Lamster

Walk the Walk, Take the Design




A few years ago I did an interview with ESPN magazine and was forced to subscribe to read the online version. Ever since, despite my cancellation order, the print edition, in all its oversized glory, has continued to foul my mailbox. Reading the latest, in spite of myself, I came across the ad above at left, which has a small copyright notice for Abbott Laboratories.

Being both lazy and busy, I haven't made any inquiries, but let me just say I hope they've paid some kind of licensing fee to Stefan Sagmeister (or maybe he's the designer — seems unlikely?), as this is a rather blatant case of borrowing from several of his signature pieces [ie: middle, right]. Either way, it's pretty damn ironic that the phrase "ingenious design" is circled at the top right. AT&T's recent Christo/Jean-Claude inspired tv spots, produced without the artist's permission, indicate this kind of appropriation is becoming rather more common, which is disturbing, to say the least.
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Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review, he is currently at work on his third book, a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson. Follow: @marklamster.
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