Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.



  • You found it!

Poster, Levi's 501, The Button Fly, 2010

This is a poster. It was graphic design by Sagmeister Inc. and design team member: Joe Shouldice and Richard The and the art director was Stefan Sagmeister and made for (as the client) Levi Strauss and firm: Sagmeister Inc.. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is offset lithograph with rainbow foil stamping on coated wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

As part of the 2010 marketing campaign for Levi’s button fly, Stefan Sagmeister designed a poster that features a housefly composed of numerous Levi Strauss & Co. buttons in various sizes. While slick and elegant, the housefly poster retains a sensual appeal, evoking something hard, shiny, and metallic. This appeal to the personal, to the senses, and to the emotions, is characteristic of Sagmeister’s work.
Sagmeister was born in Austria and studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Pratt Institute in New York. After short apprenticeships with Leo Burnett’s Hong Kong Design Group and at M & Co., he opened his own firm in New York in 1993, Sagmeister Inc., which has since produced graphics, branding, and packaging for a variety of clients including Levi Strauss & Co., the Guggenheim Museum, and Time Warner Inc. Sagmeister was appointed to the Frank Stanton Chair at the Cooper Union School of Art and teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts, both in New York City. He has received almost every significant international design award, including the 2005 National Design Award in the field of Communications Design and two Grammys—one that same year for his packaging for the Talking Heads box set, Once in a Lifetime, and a second in 2010 for his packaging for the David Byrne and Brian Eno collaboration, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.
Sagmeister’s graphic production is original and challenges the limits of his profession. This poster, part of a larger group of objects by Sagmeister proposed for acquisition, will augment the museum’s representation of work by this celebrated graphic designer.

This object was donated by Stefan Sagmeister. It is credited Gift of Stefan Sagmeister.

Our curators have highlighted 8 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Earrings, 2013
  • copper, white gold, sapphires, spinels, rubellite, tourmaline.
  • Courtesy of FD Gallery.
  • 20.2015.2a/c

Its dimensions are

119.4 x 76.2 cm (47 x 30 in.)

Cite this object as

Poster, Levi's 501, The Button Fly, 2010; Graphic design by Sagmeister Inc. (United States); USA; offset lithograph with rainbow foil stamping on coated wove paper; 119.4 x 76.2 cm (47 x 30 in.); Gift of Stefan Sagmeister; 2011-34-2

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18794267/ |title=Poster, Levi's 501, The Button Fly, 2010 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 March 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please let us know!