About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.
daily heller 2-26-14_f

Raspberries (and more) To Those In Power

Fleurs, Fruits & Légumes du Jour is a folio of caricature prints by Alfred Le Petit (1841-1909) from 1871. He was one of the great line artists and satirists of his era, and a contributor to L’Eclipse, a leading republican newspaper during the French Third Republic. View some of the more hilariously acute physical transformations and caricatures from the original portfolio.

daily heller 2-25-14_f

Mind Games

Those of us who lean in the direction of psychosomatic illness (at least those of us who have survived our psychosomatic illnesses), have been waiting for a visual cautionary book like this for decades. Oddly, this was published in 1953. Although the expressionistic illustrations and information graphics may seem satiric, they accompany a very serious text by an expert, O. Spurgeon English, M.D.

daily heller 2-24-14_f

Ed Sorel’s Chicago

The Second City has an incredible number of first class faces. And Ed Sorel has captured many of them in his latest mural for La Storia, a new restaurant (located in the Gold Coast at 1154 N Dearborn) in Chicago.

daily heller 2-21-14_f

When the Ukraine Was Soviet

I recently found a catalog of Ukrainian political posters spanning the period after the Russian revolution until the early 1980s – some are surprisingly well known. In light of the apparent push from Russian President Putin to aid the Yanukovych government, seeing this now quaint the Ukrainian SSR-Soviet era posters seems like a deceivingly innocent moment in history.

daily heller 2-20-14_f

Red (I Mean Read) All About It

Productive Arts! run by Howard Garfinkel and Larry Zeman is an essential resource for Russian and Soviet design materials (publications, posters, ephemera) produced by the leaders of the Constructivist, Productivist and Socialist Realist movements. Most recently, they published catalogs on Soviet newspapers and specifically pages designed by montagist Gustav Klutsis. I asked Zeman to discuss the acquisition and significance of this collection.

daily heller 2-19-14_f

Endpapers: A New Beginning

Melanie Marder Parks has illustrated 17 of the Elm Creek Quilts novels by Jennifer Chiaverini. There are 20 books in the series and the publisher decided to add illustrated endpapers with the fourth book. I asked Parks about reviving the art of endpapers in this way.

daily-heller-2-18-14_f

House Sitting

A little over a month ago, I wrote about Hanksy’s six day graffiti mash-up at a condemned row house on the Lower East Side. I promised a video produced by No Your City and directed by Nicolas Heller. Well here it is, “Hanksy Presents: Surplus Candy,” a record of the making of the incredible indoor street art extravaganza, which was open to the public for just two hours and then oblivion.

daily heller 2-17-14_f

Sporting Jackets

Book jackets were functional appendages to books created to keep covers free of dirt and dust (hence the now antiquated term dust jackets). They’re also mini-posters designed to attract readers — like bees to the flower. Twenty years ago, Seymour Chwast and I authored a book titled Jackets Required, a survey of these dust repellent graphic designs from the ’20s through the ’40s.

weekend heller 2-15-14_f

Weekend Heller: AIGA @ 100

The AIGA began as the old guard of a new profession and 100 years later is still going strong. This year you can help celebrate the occasion at a number of live and social media events, including Celebrate #AIGA100, Celebrate Design website and The Facing Forward exhibit.