Daily Heller

Daily design news and insight from Steven Heller. Sign up here for the Daily Heller—which WIRED recently described as “your CliffsNotes to the history of graphic design”—to be delivered to your inbox each week! (Note that The Daily Heller is no longer sent out as a daily email, but will be announced on a weekly basis every Friday.)

KKK Strikes Out

During this era, when our President boldly asserted there are “good people” on the bigoted white supremacist fringe, I was moved by the design and content of this important 1965 book about the Ku Klux Klan. There have been three stages of the Ku Klux Klan from its inception in 1865 through the 1920s...

The Rand Book That Never Was

Paul Rand’s first monograph, “Thoughts on Design” (Wittenborn, 1947, reprinted by Chronicle Books), showcased and explained his “first stage” from when he launched his design and art directorial career in 1937 at Esquire/Coronet. He was occasionally involved in the editorial layout of Esquire fashion supplements but mostly designed promotion and a brilliant series of...

The Curious Allure of Movies About Nazis

Operation Finale starring Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi in bureaucratic command of the final solution of the “Jewish Question,” opened on Wednesday (Times review here). This is not the first, second or third film about the monster who was captured by MOSSAD agents while hiding in plain sight (under the pseudonym Ricardo...

Promoting the Times Is Timely

Even before The New York Times newspaper was graphically designed to enter the 20th century, its promotion department created memorable graphic design that underscored the greatness of the institution and won the hearts and minds of New Yorkers (like me). Opening on Wednesday Sept 5 at the Times Building, a mini-exhibition produced by the...

Holiday Heller: Back To Design School

Face facts: Today, Labor Day, is the end of Summer. Heat and humidity will soon be a memory. Design students are going back to school (and we can look forward to Columbus Day, Halloween, election day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah). Here’s a gift idea for your favorite design student: “Type Deck” identifies particular forms...

Weekend Heller: TDC’s 1957 Stellar Lineup

Ask any designer (well, any designer that I have spoken to) and they agree that the TDC annuals are the best. They are also among the precious few still publishing printed books. But when TDC started giving out awards for Typographic Design Excellence in 1954 the documentation was a pamphlet. According to TDC Carol...

Universal Pictorial Picks

Fifty one years ago, ten years before the Department of Transportation symbol signs (dubbed Helvetica Man by the designers Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller) commissioned the AIGA (and they asked Cook and Shanosky Associates Inc.) to design the initial 34 symbols to help manage the crush of pedestrian and passenger visitors for the...

Expression Glyph

Alex Jordan is a graphic designer, photographer and professor and in 1976 he joined as a member of the famed Grapus design collective in Paris with Pierre Bernard, Gérard Paris-Clavel, Jean-Paul Bachollet. As he says “I took part of the Grapus adventure in the last century.” Until October 3 his and other members’ work...

Louis Silverstein @ The Times

There is no way to describe my first (and only) job interview at The New York Times. But I’ll try. It was the proverbial dream — a wish come true — a sensation equaled only to getting married, watching our child being born and holding the first copy of my first authored book. My...

TDC’s 1957 Stellar Lineup

Ask any designer (well, any designer that I have spoken to) and they agree that the TDC annuals are the best. They are also among the precious few still publishing printed books. But when TDC started giving out awards for Typographic Design Excellence in 1954 the documentation was a pamphlet. According to TDC Carol...