Jessica Walsh

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Jessica Walsh
Jessica Walsh 2013.jpg
Born (1986-10-30) October 30, 1986 (age 32)
ResidenceNew York City
NationalityUnited States American
Alma materRhode Island School of Design (BFA, 2008)
OccupationArt director & partner,
Sagmeister & Walsh
Years active2008-present

Jessica Walsh (born October 30, 1986)[1] is an American graphic designer, art director and illustrator, and founder of creative agency & Walsh.

Early life and education[edit]

Walsh was born in New York[2] and raised in nearby Ridgefield, Connecticut.[1] She began coding and designing websites at age 11[3] and went on to study graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).[4]


Sagmeister & Walsh[edit]

After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from RISD in 2008, Walsh moved to New York City. to intern at the notable design firm Pentagram. She turned down a job at Apple where she was offered nearly $100,000 annually to accept the internship under Paula Scher at Pentagram, where she would stay for nearly a year.[3][5] She then worked as an associate art director at Print magazine[5] and had design work and illustrations featured in various books, magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and New York Times Magazine.[6][7] In reflections about her time at Print magazine, she identifies it as one of the best things to happen in her career as it was how she found and developed her personal style.[8]

In 2010, Walsh met Stefan Sagmeister. He looked through her portfolio and offered her a job at his design studio, Sagmeister Inc.[3][4] In June 2012, after two years at the firm, Walsh was made partner, at age 25.[9][10] In homage to a nude self-portrait Sagmeister had sent out to announce the formation of his own firm 19 years prior, the new partners released a photo of themselves naked in their office to announce the renaming of the firm to Sagmeister & Walsh.[9]

Blending handcraft, photography and painting with digital design,[1][11] Walsh works primarily on branding, typography, website design and art installations.[7] Her signature style has been described as "bold, emotional and provocative"[4] with the occasional surrealistic flourish,[12] and her art has been said to look "hand-made and at times quite daring."[7] Walsh has worked on projects for clients including Levi's, Aizone, Adobe and Colab Eyewear,[3][13] and rebranding efforts for The Jewish Museum of New York and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut.[1][14] Walsh and Sagmeister collaborated on Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh, an exhibition that opened at the Jewish Museum in March 2013, and ran for five months. For the exhibit, an exploration of happiness, they created a sound-activated sculpture and five short films.[15]

In July 2019, Walsh announced she was leaving Sagmeister & Walsh and forming her own studio, & Walsh, which will replace Sagmeister & Walsh who will not take on new clients. The new studio will support collaborations between the former partners and employees and many clients will move to the new company. Walsh has said that the studio is a fulfillment of her dreams as a teen to run her own business and the studio will become one of 36 female-led creative studios in the United States.[16]

40 Days of Dating[edit]

In 2013, Walsh and fellow designer and friend Tim Goodman decided to date for 40 days to see if they could overcome their relationship issues and fall in love. They documented the social experiment on a blog, 40 Days of Dating, launched in July 2013.[3][17] In support of the blog, which earned more than 5 million unique visitors in less than a year,[3] they appeared in segments on talk shows Today[18] and The View.[19] In September 2013, Warner Brothers purchased the film rights, with a screenplay to be written by Lorene Scafaria, and Michael Sucsy attached to direct.[20][21] Walsh and Goodman will serve as consulting writers on the script[17] and also wrote a book for Abrams, 40 Days of Dating: An Experiment, out in early 2015.[3][4]

12 Kinds of Kindness[edit]

In 2016, Walsh and Goodman began a second project together, "A 12-step experiment designed to open [their] hearts, eyes, and minds".[22] Throughout 12 steps, the two designers contributed to society with their kindness and recorded the results, teaching themselves and their readers lessons of how a little contribution can go a long way. From going around the city of New York, asking strangers if they need help, to placing themselves into the shoes of those who receive the most negative feedback, such as telemarketers and homeless, Walsh and Goodman's experiment has received astounding feedback.

Apart from an entertaining social experiment to follow, Walsh and Goodman also ask for the readers' interaction and contribution by including a "make your own steps" section to the website. They invite followers to join their journey, "whether it's random acts of kindness, facing a fear or insecurity, being nice to your enemies, or paying it forward,"[23] and document with photography, illustrations, writing, and typography on social media with the tag #12kindsofkindness.

Although the two designers led the project, the acquired immense assistance from friends, family and co-workers, from film to animation included to illustrate each step. The experiment was live from January 13 to March 15, 2016.[24]

Ladies Wine and Design[edit]

In March 2016, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman were in the middle of their “12 Kinds of Kindness” project, a 12-step program created in the hopes of becoming kinder, more empathetic people. Step seven of this project was entitled “Kill them with Kindness”.[25] During this stage, Jessica came to realize that often women in the design industry see each other as competition instead of allies, and so she came up with the idea of “Ladies, Wine and a bit of Design.”

Jessica started Ladies, Wine & Design (LWD) in Brooklyn and since April 2016, chapters have been started in over 250 cities around the world, led by local creative women who have the same passion as Jessica to see a change in the industry. In the past year, the global Ladies, Wine & Design initiative has continued to grow. Official LWD merchandise is planned to be on sale in the future. The official Instagram for the organization, @ladieswinedesign, features inspiring advice and highlights from chapters all over the world. Unlike most networking types of groups, Ladies, Wine & Design events are intentionally kept small to better foster community and creativity between the attendees.[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

Walsh teaches design and typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York.[26][27] She is represented by Creative Artists Agency.[20]

One of the popular social campaign’s Jessica has done was titled #JessicaWalshHasNoFilter, and has recently been updated to #SorryNoFilterImages as it includes work from more artists and provides a broader audience.


Honors and awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Walsh lives in New York City with her husband, cinematographer Zak Mulligan.[3] Her personal instagram, @theotherjessicawalsh, is a collection of her personal style and travel diaries.


  1. ^ a b c d Caitlin Dover, “'Awesome, Twisted, and Beautiful': A Q&A with Designer Jessica Walsh,” Guggenheim Blog, February 7, 2014.
  2. ^ Ryan & Tina Essmaker, “Jessica Walsh,” The Great Discontent, September 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Scott Rodd, “Font of Youth: Jessica Walsh, Graphic Design’s ‘It’ Girl,” New York Observer, April 10, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Laura C. Mallonee, “Jessica Walsh: Art Director of Sagmeister & Walsh,” Scene magazine, May 2014.
  5. ^ a b Ashleigh Allsopp, “Interview: Jessica Walsh discusses play, her favourite designs, future plans & that photo,” Digital Arts, May 9, 2013.
  6. ^ a b “The Envy Index: 25 Under 25,” The L Magazine, December 7, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e Stefan Gruenwedel, “Hand-crafted photo illustrations of Jessica Walsh,”, December 2012.
  8. ^ Morley, Madeleine (May 29, 2017). "How Jessica Walsh Developed Her Distinct + Colorful Style of Art Direction at Print". Eye on Design. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Jim Edwards, “Why This New York Design Agency Makes Its Employees Pose Naked For Staff Photos,” Business Insider, June 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Patrick Burgoyne, “The perils of getting naked with Sagmeister,” Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine Creative Review, June 1, 2012.
  11. ^ Tina Berglund, “Jessica Walsh,” Radar, December 4, 2013.
  12. ^ Laura Neilson, “Surrealism,” Design Bureau, August 29, 2013.
  13. ^ Carey Dunne, “Sagmeister & Walsh Compete In A Gameshow To Re-Create Adobe’s Logo,” Fast Company, March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Carey Dunne, “Sagmeister & Walsh Rebrand The Jewish Museum, Using Sacred Geometry,” Fast Company, April 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Anna Carnick, “Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, March 14, 2013.
  16. ^ ago, Minda Smiley|6 days. "Famed Designer Jessica Walsh Starts Her Own Creative Agency". Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  17. ^ a b Michelle Ruiz, “40 Days of Dating Couple Endorse Lizzy Caplan, Paul Bettany for Movie Version,” Cosmopolitan, September 25, 2013.
  18. ^ “Longtime friends experiment, date for 40 days,” Today, NBC, September 9, 2013.
  19. ^ The View, Season 18, Episode 69, ABC, December 13, 2013.
  20. ^ a b Eric Dodds, “’40 Days’ Online Stars Prepare for Hollywood Ending,” Time, September 19, 2013.
  21. ^ Mike Fleming, Jr., “Warner Bros Buys Rights To ’40 Days of Dating’ Blog: Michael Sucsy To Direct,” Deadline Hollywood, September 17, 2013.
  22. ^ "12 Kinds of Kindness". Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  23. ^ "12 Kinds of Kindness". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  24. ^ "About – 12 Kinds of Kindness". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  25. ^ Walsh, Jessica. [ "12 Kinds of Kindness: Step 7"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  26. ^ a b Michael Silverberg, “Some Uncomfortable Thoughts About Sagmeister & Walsh’s New Identity,” Print, January 23, 2013.
  27. ^ “Our Faculty: Jessica Walsh,” Accessed May 20, 2014.
  28. ^ “Les Arts Decoratifs Poster,” National Design Awards. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  29. ^ a b Kisa Lala, “Moving Against Type: Stefan Sagmeister,” Huffington Post, June 19, 2013.
  30. ^ "Exhibition Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty - MAK Museum Vienna". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  31. ^ “The new stars of design,” Computer Arts, December 15, 2009.
  32. ^ a b “People to Watch: Jessica Walsh,” GD USA, January 2013.
  33. ^ Emily Anne Kuriyama, “25 People Shaping the Future of Design,” Complex, October 14, 2013.
  34. ^ Abigail Tracy, “Webby Awards Honor the Best of the Internet,” Inc., April 28, 2014.

External links[edit]