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Steven Heller

Author / art director

1/20: Advice for design students

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

2/20: Advice for the 18yo Steven Heller

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

3/20: An average day

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

4/20: Attributes of good design

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

5/20: Collaboration

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

6/20: Creating a folio

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

7/20: Design ability innate or can be taught?

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

8/20: Drawing

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

9/20: Early career years

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

10/20: Favourite work and their flaws

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

11/20: Having interests outside of design

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

12/20: Inspiration

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

13/20: Mentors and career guidance

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

14/20: Prolific or obsessed

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

15/20: The Importance of being able to talk about your work

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

16/20: The timeless nature of good work

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

17/20: The writing process and writer's block

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

18/20: Traits of a successful designers

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

19/20: Work routine

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Steven Heller

Author / art director

20/20: Working for the New York Times

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StevenHeller

Steven Heller is a celebrated American author and art director who has authored, co-authored and edited over 100 books on graphic design. From humble beginnings he began his career at the tender age of 14 in a New York City advertising agency. Terrified by the experience of his first day, Heller didn’t return to work the next day. Emerging three years later as a art director for various underground papers, a hardened and ambitious Heller set about navigating a successful career, “You name it, I did it” he confesses of those times. From there Heller went on to become an art director at The New York Times, where he worked for 33 years honing his skills in the fast-paced world of the iconic paper.

For most people a career at a frenetic daily newspaper would suffice, but the ever ambitious Heller always had two or three outside projects running concurrently. When asked about his prolific creative output Heller himself concedes he is ‘obsessed.’ Indeed his enormous creative output has chronicled the past hundred years of graphics design to such an extent that any graphic designer or design student cannot ignore his influence. The fact that he never received any formal design schooling makes this feat all the more impressive.

For the most part collaboration has been an essential element in the writing process for Heller. In his charismatic and sometimes self-deprecating style he says, “I love working with others because that’s the only way I can do as much as I do, somebody else has to be able to pick up the ball when I drop it.” With too many awards and accolades to mention, Steven Heller is truly a 'self-made man.'  A man who has stamped his name in the history of graphic design through perseverance, talent, and perhaps (what he himself describes as an essential ingredient in the making of a great designer) a small element of luck.

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