We’ve Been To Heller And Back And We Liked What We Got So Much We’re Going To Have To Go Ahead And Share
After bringing you the design stylings of Michael Bierut and Gregg Pasquarelli, we’re bringing you the next Unbeige Interview of The Every Week Or So, Although It Depends on Everyone’s Schedules And People Can Be Hard To Track Down. Steven Heller, graphic design enthusiast, chair of the SVA’s MFA program, editor of AIGA Voice, contributing editor to publications from Print to ID to Mother Jones, author of over 90 books on graphic design, and art director of the local paper’s book review, rocked one of our worlds when he took us to graphic design school for an hour, then rocked the other one even harder when he answered these questions. After the jump, Heller talks about subjectivity, his interest in dictatorships, and his tendency for wiggling around in a bag of cliches.
Unbeige: When did you first realize you were interested in design?
Steven Heller: I found I could make pages by putting type and image together, along with drawings I made. It was like doing jigsaw puzzles, which I liked to do. It also meant I could see the result of my labors at the end of every week since I worked for a weekly newspaper. To me, graphic design was my entry to DESIGN as a big D activity.
UB: Where do you think graphic design is headed, and are you excited?
SH: I’m not sure. Excitement is relative. I get off on seeing new illustrators doing work I’d never thought about. For instance, I’m a fan of vinyl toys and the entire illustrator’s toy movement. But I also get excited almost every time I see a drawing by Christoph Niemann–he’s just so damn smart. But as far as graphic design as thing, or as existential force, I have no idea.
The big type revolution is settling down to the day-to-day, so there’s nothing new there. I think motion is becoming more important to designers–telling stories with design as the frame is of interest. I’m not sure I’m all that keen on design as “art.” The days of Barbara Kruger–or at least when she was breaking new ground–are kind of over. Anyway, we’ll see what comes next as students graduate and do great things with their talents.