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.)

A Master of the German Modern Logo

Max Körner (1883–1963) was a painter and German trademark designer. From 1913 to 1921 he was a teacher of visual design and crafts at the School of Applied Arts in Stuttgart, and along with Wilhelm Deffke, he mastered the modern logo. Gebrausgraphik called him “one of the most characteristic and original figures among German...

Tschichold In The Rough

Last week I previewed a splendid book by Prof. Patrick Rössler (Universität Erfurt) in Germany on 1920s-30s illustrated German magazines. Today I bring you another awe-inspiring history of the New Typography, Blicke in den Nachlass Jan Tschichold: Ein Jahrhundrettypograf! (Wallstein Verlag) by Stephanie Jacobs and Rössler. With an introduction by the biographer of Paul...

Guns And Hate On MLK Day

Extremist militias and white nationalist groups are converging on Richmond, Virginia’s statehouse today, Martin Luther King day, to take a stand for gun rights — “or, in the words of some, to fan the flames of a civil war,” The Washington Post reported on Saturday. “I’ll be rolling into town early. I can’t give...

Cereal Killer Package Design

I wouldn’t blame you if you mistook the artifacts below for works of art. In fact, they would fit very well into a Chelsea gallery amid the contemporary artists now working with typography. A few of them also suggest concrete poetry. But no. These are progressive printing proofs for Kellogg’s products (c. 1930s-1950s). Kellogg’s...

Elvis Chwast Is In The Building

This gets my vote for the King of Elvis books. Just when you think Mr. Pelvis has been forgotten, he emerges in this stunningly entertaining illustrated The Mighty Elvis: A Graphic Bioigraphy by Seymour Chwast and Steven Brower. Chwast’s drawings and visual narratives bring new life to the old King. I asked Chwast about...

There Will Never Be Another 2020 in Our Lifetime

 . . . Or ever, for that matter. But on a lighter note. . . Poul Lange has been pondering the new decade: “Everyone, who has been on Facebook for a while, has probably received one of those challenges: ‘Show one record cover that has been important to you every day for 2 weeks’,...

Illustrated Magazines, The Genius Thereof

Picture Magazines of the Times (Bildermaga Zin Der Zeit) (Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin) by Patrick Rössler is just what the doctor ordered today. In the 1920s, “The illustrated Magazine” was planned to be among the celebrated series of Bauhaus Books (Bauhausbücher). Edited by Moholy Nagy it was to be a “critical inventory” of contemporary...

Spanish Fascists Were As Bad As Any Fascists

On July 18, 1936, Francisco Franco announced a military rebellion against the Spanish republic. After landing in Spain, Franco and his army marched toward Madrid. He became head of the rebel Nationalist government on October 1 but did not gain complete control of the country for more than three years. Spain’s fascists were as...