What I Did When I Should Have Been in School

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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I hated going to school. After high school I went to NYU for a couple of years and then SVA for another. During that time I was working and was much happier at work than sitting in Spanish 1 and Mental Hygiene 2. So I spent most of my time at my newspaper jobs instead of in classes.

When I should have been attending SVA, for example, I was sitting at my desk in the offices of Screw or posing with my cohorts Al Goldstein and Jim Buckley (below) for silly promotional photographs for our anti-political crime satire magazine Mobster Times.

We learn in different ways. I learned about how design provides context for content. It doesn’t matter what the typeface is or how the grid looks, but rather how the message is received. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been taught not by great design masters—that came later—but to be influenced by strange and unique individuals at a time when I was open to almost everything.

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Top: SVA student identity cards belonging to one Steven Heller. Below: Publicity photo for staff of MOBSTER TIMES. From left: Steve (The Kid) Heller, Al (the Mad Man) Goldstein, Jim (The Fist) Buckley, pictured at my drawing board on 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, gunning for readers, any readers.

About Steven Heller

Steven 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 →