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Jessica Walsh

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Jessica Walsh
Walsh (2013)
Born (1986-10-30) October 30, 1986 (age 37)
New York, U.S.
Alma materRhode Island School of Design
OccupationArt director
Years active2008–present
SpouseZak Mulligan

Jessica Walsh (born October 30, 1986)[1] is an American designer, art director, illustrator and educator. She was a partner of the design studio Sagmeister & Walsh (2010–2019), and the founder of the creative agency &Walsh (2019–present).[2] &Walsh is one of the .1% of creative agencies owned by women.[3] She has taught at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

Early life and education


Walsh was born on October 30, 1986, in New York[1][4] and raised in Ridgefield, Connecticut.[1] She began coding and designing websites at age 11.[5] After a year of making her own websites and blogs, she made a website for kids to learn how to code using HTML and CSS and to make their own websites. Walsh became interested in coding from building a website homepage for her Neopet. Eventually her website had about 50,000 people visiting per day. She put Google Ads on her site and made a couple thousand dollars per month. This was a turning point for Walsh because she realized she could make money from design and websites. Walsh chose to go an art school to advance her design knowledge.[6] Walsh went on to study graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she received a BFA degree in 2008.[7][8]



After college, Walsh moved to New York City to intern at the 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.[5][9] Walsh has stated that she turned down the Apple job offer because she knew she would be doing one type of design for one client that already had an established look and feel. She knew her goal was to open her own studio and this job was not on the route to her goal.[10] She then worked as an associate art director at Print magazine[9] and had design work and illustrations appear in the New York Times and New York Times Magazine.[11][12] 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.[13]

Sagmeister & Walsh


In February 2010, Jessica Walsh sent Stefan Sagmeister a “super-long, emotional email, unsure of where to go in life.” Walsh had never met Sagmeister before and the email only had the intention of trying to get some guidance. They soon met up and Sagmeister looked through Walsh's portfolio and offered her a job. Two years later in 2012, she became partners with Stefan Sagmeister to form Sagmeister & Walsh. Walsh primarily worked with clients while Sagmeister traveled more and focused on his films.[14] 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.[15]

Blending handcraft, photography and painting with digital design,[1][16] Walsh works primarily on branding, typography, website design and art installations.[12] Her style has been described as "bold, emotional and provocative"[7] with the occasional surrealistic flourish,[17] and her art has been said to look "hand-made and at times quite daring."[12] 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.[18]

Companies Sagmeister & Walsh Worked With


Walsh has worked on projects for clients including Levi's, Aizone, Adobe and Colab Eyewear,[5][19] and rebranding efforts for The Jewish Museum of New York and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut.[1][20] Some other popular clients Walsh has worked with includes. BMW, Snapchat, Barneys New York and Parle Argo, “the Coca-Cola of India.”[10]



In July 2019, Walsh announced she was going to leave Sagmeister & Walsh and forming her own studio, &Walsh.[2] 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.[21] &Walsh works with brands in early stages.[3]

40 Days of Dating


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 website, 40 Days of Dating, launched in July 2013.[5][22] The website is a blog and has entries from both Walsh and Goodman everyday answering the same questions throughout the 40 days.

They answered the same questions each day which were;

  • Did you see (the other person) today?
  • What did y’all do together?
  • Did anything interesting happen?
  • Did you learn anything new about (the other person)?
  • Did you learn anything about yourself?
  • How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
  • Is there anything you want to do differently?
  • Additional comments?

In support of the blog, which earned more than 5 million unique visitors in less than a year,[5] they appeared in segments on talk shows Today[23] and The View.[24] In September 2013, Warner Brothers purchased the film rights, with a screenplay to be written by Lorene Scafaria, and Michael Sucsy attached to direct.[25][26] Walsh and Goodman were to serve as consulting writers on the script, but the rights subsequently lapsed.[22][27] The two also wrote a book for Abrams, 40 Days of Dating: An Experiment in 2015.[5][7]

12 Kinds of Kindness


In 2016, Walsh and Goodman began a second project together, which they described as a "12-step experiment designed to open [their] hearts, eyes, and minds". They set up twelve tasks in which they displayed kindness to people and recorded the results. The experiment was live from January 13 to March 15, 2016.[28]

Lets Talk About Mental Health


Walsh has a project called Let's Talk About Mental Health that is on her 12 Kinds of Kindness website. This project tackles the stigma of sharing struggles with mental health. It contains posts of different people's honest accounts of dealing with mental illness. This project was inspired by Walsh's 12 Kinds of Kindness’ Step four; learning to forgive yourself for something in your past. In step four, Walsh writes about her past struggles with anorexia, depression and self-harm. Not only did she share her past struggles but so did her friends and colleagues. She published the stories on the website and invited everyone to add their stories through the website.[29]

Ladies, Wine and Design


Walsh started Ladies, Wine & Design, a nonprofit organization to encourage women and non-binary people to work together rather than compete, in 2016. Walsh created Ladies, Wine and Design in response to the statistic that in the creative industry only three percent of women are in leadership positions. This organization was born out of Walsh's personal experiences with sexism in the Design Industry, from both men and other women. Ladies, Wine and Design started out as eight women in Walsh's apartment drinking wine, talking about design, and discussing their careers as women in the industry. As of 2022, LWD has grown to have 280+ local chapters around the world. Each chapter is free to join and the events are free and accessible to all. LWD offers free mentorship circles, talks, and networking events around the world. The long term goal for the organization is to take their initiative to underserved high schools to foster the future of women, non-binary and underrepresented people in creative communities.[30]

Other work


Walsh teaches design and typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York.[31][32] She is represented by Creative Artists Agency.[25]

Walsh worked on a project throughout the years called #SorryIHaveNoFilter. This project started out when she worked out at Sagmeister&Walsh. The project was based on Walsh's Instagram series with the same name. Now she has the No Filter project on her &Walsh website. This project has continued to grow with her throughout her career.[33]

Honors and awards


Personal life


Walsh lives in New York City with her husband, cinematographer Zak Mulligan.[5] Walsh's sister, Lauren Walsh, works with Jessica at &Walsh. Lauren helps with running operations and new business. Both Jessica and her sister Lauren suffer from migraines.


  1. ^ a b c d e Caitlin Dover, “'Awesome, Twisted, and Beautiful': A Q&A with Designer Jessica Walsh,” Guggenheim Blog, February 7, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Jessica Walsh splits from Stefan Sagmeister to launch her own creative agency &Walsh". Dezeen. 2019-07-24. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  3. ^ a b Khandelwal, Payal (16 December 2019). "Jessica Walsh". The Floating Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  4. ^ Ryan & Tina Essmaker, “Jessica Walsh,” Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine The Great Discontent, September 18, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Scott Rodd, “Font of Youth: Jessica Walsh, Graphic Design's ‘It’ Girl,” New York Observer, April 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Milman, Debbie. "Jessica Walsh". Design Matters Media. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Laura C. Mallonee, “Jessica Walsh: Art Director of Sagmeister & Walsh,” Archived 2016-05-14 at the Wayback Machine Scene magazine, May 2014.
  8. ^ "Jessica Walsh: The influencer". Eye Magazine. Summer 2020. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  9. ^ a b Ashleigh Allsopp, “Interview: Jessica Walsh discusses play, her favourite designs, future plans & that photo,” Digital Arts, May 9, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Cohen, David (24 September 2018). "Jessica Walsh: WHY THIS SAGMEISTER & WALSH PARTNER TURNED DOWN AN APPLE GIG EARLY IN HER CAREER". ADWEEK. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  11. ^ a b “The Envy Index: 25 Under 25,” The L Magazine, December 7, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c d e Stefan Gruenwedel, “Hand-crafted photo illustrations of Jessica Walsh,” adobe.com, December 2012.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Petit, Zachary (2016-01-08). "The Evolution of Jessica Walsh". PRINT Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  15. ^ Jim Edwards, “Why This New York Design Agency Makes Its Employees Pose Naked For Staff Photos,” Business Insider, June 2, 2013.
  16. ^ Tina Berglund, “Jessica Walsh,” Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine Radar, December 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Laura Neilson, “Surrealism,” Design Bureau, August 29, 2013.
  18. ^ Anna Carnick, “Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, March 14, 2013.
  19. ^ Carey Dunne, “Sagmeister & Walsh Compete In A Gameshow To Re-Create Adobe's Logo,” Fast Company, March 6, 2014.
  20. ^ Carey Dunne, “Sagmeister & Walsh Rebrand The Jewish Museum, Using Sacred Geometry,” Fast Company, April 30, 2014.
  21. ^ ago, Minda Smiley|6 days (24 July 2019). "Famed Designer Jessica Walsh Starts Her Own Creative Agency". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2019-07-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ a b Michelle Ruiz, “40 Days of Dating Couple Endorse Lizzy Caplan, Paul Bettany for Movie Version,” Cosmopolitan, September 25, 2013.
  23. ^ “Longtime friends experiment, date for 40 days,” Today, NBC, September 9, 2013.
  24. ^ The View, Season 18, Episode 69, ABC, December 13, 2013.
  25. ^ a b Eric Dodds, “’40 Days’ Online Stars Prepare for Hollywood Ending,” Time, September 19, 2013.
  26. ^ Mike Fleming, Jr., “Warner Bros Buys Rights To ’40 Days of Dating’ Blog: Michael Sucsy To Direct,” Deadline Hollywood, September 17, 2013.
  27. ^ Robertson, Katie (2020-01-30). "The Work Diary of Jessica Walsh, Designing (and Wining) Woman". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  28. ^ "About – 12 Kinds of Kindness". 12kindsofkindness.com. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  29. ^ Jacoby, Sarah. "People Aren't Following This Instagram Account For Its Pretty Pictures". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  30. ^ "Eye Magazine | Feature | Jessica Walsh: The influencer". Eye Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  31. ^ a b Michael Silverberg, “Some Uncomfortable Thoughts About Sagmeister & Walsh's New Identity,” Archived 2014-06-21 at the Wayback Machine Print, January 23, 2013.
  32. ^ “Our Faculty: Jessica Walsh,” Archived 2019-05-02 at the Wayback Machine sva.edu. Accessed May 20, 2014.
  33. ^ "Behance". www.behance.net. September 2018. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  34. ^ “The new stars of design,” Computer Arts, December 15, 2009.
  35. ^ a b “People to Watch: Jessica Walsh,” Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine GD USA, January 2013.
  36. ^ "Levi's Billboard - Graphis". www.graphis.com. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  37. ^ Emily Anne Kuriyama, “25 People Shaping the Future of Design,” Complex, October 14, 2013.
  38. ^ Abigail Tracy, “Webby Awards Honor the Best of the Internet,” Inc., April 28, 2014.
  39. ^ "Sagmeister & Walsh SVA Subway Posters - Graphis". www.graphis.com. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  40. ^ "30 Under 30 - Forbes". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 2024-03-04.