BEFORE SAGMEISTER ERA

Before Jessica Walsh's 2012 project 40 Days of Dating was blowing up your newsfeed, before she was littering her shelves with countless design awards, and before she ambitiously knocked on Stefan Sagmeister's door for a simple portfolio review, she was student at the
Rhode Island School of Design. Graduating in '08 with a BFA in graphic design, Walsh has been turning heads and killing the game since she was a tiny stylus-toting design baby. 

Photo by Mario De Armas

Photo by Mario De Armas

As a high schooler, Jessica became enamored with web design, teaching herself to code and eventually creating a tutorial site for others interested in making websites. Upon enrolling at RISD, she broke up with code and started holding hands with the design side, summering at Apple in 2007 and moving to NYC upon graduation to intern with Paula Scher at Pentagram (turning away a handsome offer in Cupertino in the process). It was Scher that helped Walsh prepare her portfolio for an interview at Print Magazine, where she worked for a year and a half before her encounter with Sagmeister. 

Sagmeister's decision to make Walsh a partner in his legendary and elusive firm, Sagmeister Inc. has in many ways defined her career, but before Sagmeister swapped the "Inc." for "& Walsh" Jessica was racking up an impressive anthology of work. I was originally interested in publishing some of Walsh's student work, but it's understandably difficult to track down. Instead, I've gathered some of Walsh's pre-Sag work, a glimpse into the designs that got her the job:

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Poster series for the RISD "Shared Voices" Seminar, 2012.

Poster series for the RISD "Shared Voices" Seminar, 2012.

Photo illustration for the April 2011 RISD alumni magazine

Photo illustration for the April 2011 RISD alumni magazine

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Some of Walsh's typographic experiments, 2009.

Some of Walsh's typographic experiments, 2009.

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Photo Illustrations for the Regional Design Annual, depicting different design epicenters across the country, 2009.

Photo Illustrations for the Regional Design Annual, depicting different design epicenters across the country, 2009.

Check out Mario De Armas' "The Creative Influence," a short peek into the life and work of Sagmeister & (namely) Walsh: