Design Culture

Underground Comes Up For Air

When the marketing of the counter-culture was hot, a "subterranean" magazine in paperback form was published by none less than Signet Books (NAL), then under the ownership of the LA Times. The book reflected the turbulent 1960s and featured articles on The Black Panthers, the Vietnam War, and more.

Jeff Roth’s Archival Pick: Jimi Hendrix

This is the first of a new mini-series of archival selections from Jeff Roth, a remarkable archivist, who runs the New York Times morgue, where folders filled with clips and photographs are buried. Heller asked him to chose five of this favorite images and tell us why. Today: Woodstock.

My Evergreen Memory

When Steven Heller was 16 years old, he did everything imaginable to get his drawings printed in Evergreen Review, which already published Robert Grossman, Brad Holland, Tomi Ungerer, Edward Sorel and others. By the time he was 19, he was briefly its art director.

We’ve Still Got Four Freedoms (Maybe More)

Norman Rockwell's pictorial interpretation of FDR's “Four Freedoms" hit home in 1943. They were later reprinted as posters, and the story of how these posters influenced and raised the American spirit is smartly analyzed in the catalog for the first comprehensive traveling exhibition devoted to Rockwell's depictions.

Glaser’s Abstraction Covered

Steven Heller has habitually tried to put art and design into neat categories. Yet, as he gets older (maybe wiser), he realizes that Milton Glaser is right. The bucket-concept is not realistic. Art is about growth not limitation. And style is just a surface manifestation of many options available to us all.

Good Vibrations

Steven Heller has always had a soft spot in his heart for Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar's vibrating typeface that was used for the Electric Circus poster.

When Progress Propagates Like Yeast

In 1948, designer, typographer and illustrator Thomas Maitland Cleland gave a talk on the nature of "'Progress' in the Graphic Arts." Here, Heller reproduces the printed version as an example of design criticism before the age of design criticism.

It was 50 Years Ago Today …

This is the year to look back at 1968 when the counter culture made its mark and almost the same year lost its impact. Heller has decided to revisit this past that defined his own life and career. Here, you'll find an excerpt from a recent talk he gave a The Type Director's Club...

Art Of Design Language

The fusion of influences in Ryan McGinness' paintings, prints, sculptures and installations establishes his unique language as a multi-faceted reflection of contemporary visual culture. Heller talks to him about the place his new work has in his overall blurring of the lines between art and design languages.