Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Design Literacy

A 1968 issue of The New York Free Press, art directed by Steven Heller when he
was 17 years-old (image via an article on Heller by Paula Scher for AIGA)

Steven Heller has written 135 books on design. He founded the Design Criticism program at SVA and currently acts as co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department. Among other jobs, he writes the "Visuals" column for the New York Times Book Review, which I generally tear out and read twice when it runs. Heller was an art director at the Times for 33 years, following various stints such as art director and designer of U&lc, Screw, and Interview. I'm not sure there is anyone else out there who can tie so many references together – high and low and everything in between – in the pursuit of understanding design. As far as I'm concerned, the dude is a national treasure.

In a new audio interview with Debbie Milman at Design Observer, Heller discusses "his new book, Pop: How Graphic Design Shapes Popular Culture, blogging from the bathroom, Christmas in New York, working with Patti Smith, Screw magazine, Paul Rand's tombstone, creating graduate programs and, of course, writing."

Click here to listen and visit for more.

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