• Steven Heller

When Bad Design Happens To Bad Dictators


Saddam Hussein (dictator of Iraq from 1979-2009 [2003–ed.]) was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006, but he is not forgotten. Sanctioned government images from his period as ruler of Iraq are eerie reminders for some and treasured mementos for others.

Judging from these postage-stamp graphics (as well as the monuments, mansions, and other kitsch he fostered), it’s fair to say Saddam not only didn’t have WMD, he lacked visual taste too. Perhaps that’s a prerequisite among dictators.




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 →



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