My Evergreen Memory

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When I was 16 years old, I did everything imaginable to get my drawings printed in Evergreen Review, which already published Robert Grossman (Kim Philby cover), Brad Holland, Tomi Ungerer, Edward Sorel (the three pigs)and others. By the time I was 19, I was briefly its art director. I met with publisher Barney Rosset a few times during my tenure, and once was when he told me he lost all the mechanicals for a book I designed for him about the film Last Tango in Paris. Fortunately I made photostats of all the layouts and we printed from that (needless to say, the typography was a mess).

Ken Deardorf, who also designed record albums, was the art director of Evergreen when I visited to show my skimpy portfolio filled with unpublished and wisely un-publishable drawings. He kindly photographed five of them for a file he kept of all the illustrators and cartoonists who visited. I was so thrilled that he took the time and effort. It was two or so years later, after having loyally subscribed, that I received a call from him suggesting the art direction job. The magazine had fallen on hard times, but it was continuing to occasionally publish as a paperback book. I accepted. Even though it was on the way to oblivion, it had been such a powerful force on my life in newspapers and magazines. These covers, the remaining few from my ancient subscription, bring back fond memories: including the first time I was introduced to Russian Revolutionary posters (portfolio on Dimitri Moor posters cover below) and Kabel logo type.

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About Steven HellerSteven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →