Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5 QUESTIONS: Steven Heller


[image from designworklife]

This week, we touch base with Steven Heller, art director, journalist, critic, author, editor, teacher, and graphic designer extraordinaire. We don't know how he does it all, but he was kind enough to squeeze in some time from his busy schedule to answer a few of our burning questions. Heller mentions his latest projects, current favorite reads, and shares an image from his desktop that's been on his mind lately. Check it out after the cut.
How did you first get into graphic design?
I turned left when I should have turned right. So, it was an accident. I stumbled into an underground newspaper that needed a layout person and I guess I never left.

It's a known fact that you love your comics. Which ones are you into lately?
None. I'm currently reading "Tried By War," about how Abe Lincoln prosecuted the Civil War. I think it could be a comic book, but it wouldn't be very comic. He had major troubles with everyone. I can't imagine waking up each day to that kind of pressure. But now, you've added to my pressure over what comic books to read.

One of the many things you have come to be known for over the years is your unmatched publishing prolificacy. What's the official count on the number of books you've put out, to date, and what projects are you working on right now?
There are about 130. They grow like fungus. Right now I'm finishing up a biography on Alvin Lustig, a book on designer and illustrator sketchbooks (with Lita Talarico), a book on the work of SVA genius Kevin O'Callaghan titled Monumental because he makes monumental exhibits, a book called POP: How Graphic Design Influences Popular Culture, and a revised edition of Becoming A Graphic Designer.
I'm also working on a book called Scripts (with Louise Fili), a sketchbook on type (with Lita), a book called 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design (with Veronique Vienne), and a book called I HEART DESIGN (with just me).

Wow. Do you ever get a chance to sleep?
Sure, don't you?

Send us one image of something (anything: a book, a movie still, an object, a person) that has caught your interest lately, and explain why.
I keep weird things on my desktop. The enclosed ad is one of them. And I don't think I have to say any more about it. Do you?

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