• Steven Heller

It Can’t Happen Here?!

Its not that I’m preoccupied with World War II, which I was happily not alive for, but I nonetheless lived through a period when military takeover was not as far fetched as it seems. Books, films and magazines provided a regular diet of alternative scenarios where America was overrun by Nazis, Japanese, Russian and even Cuban invaders.

Just this year, Amazon aired Philip K. Dick’s Man In The High Tower, which proposes a divided United States governed in the East by Germany and West by the Empire of Japan. This kind of fantasy historical fiction has been a masochistic folly for a long time. Colliers magazine devoted an entire issue to “The War We Do Not Want,” a nuke exchange with the Soviets. We won, however.  In this 1940 issue of Liberty, the Third Reich had the upper hand with a blitzkrieg of New York City. It was publisher and editor Bernarr McFadden‘s caution to Americans: The nation needs better defenses.

The stories were designed to send a shiver up the spine of a nation on the cusp of World War II. As pulp-y as these are, they are nonetheless nightmarishly real.

The Spring 2016 issue takes a dive into the largest design capital of the world: New York City. Get an exclusive look into the lives of design celebrities–from James Victore to Timothy Goodman, Jessica Walsh to Stefan Sagmeister. And then ask yourself: what makes a designer a celebrity? And is there a difference between “celebrity” and “fame?”

All of this PLUS the winners of the Typography & Lettering Awards, the history of Helvetica and a sneak peek at Seymour Chwast’s next exhibit.

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