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Steven Heller

Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State

January 28, 2009, 6:00 pm   » 

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Steven Heller is an art director at the New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review. He is currently completing "Iron Fists: Branding the Totalitarian State" for Phaidon Press, an analysis of how the major dictatorships used graphics to propagate their ideologies.

He is the co-founder and co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where he lectures on the history of graphic design. Prior to this, he lectured for 14 years on the history of illustration in the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual arts. He also was director for ten years of SVA’s Modernism & Ececticism: A History of American Graphic Design symposiums.

He has produced or been curator of a number of exhibitions, including "Art Against War," "The Satiric Image: Painters as Cartoonists and Caricaturists," "The Malik Verlag," and "The Art of Simplicissumus: Germany’s Most Influential Satire Magazine," among them. He has organized various conferences, including The School of Visual Arts’ "How We Learn What We Learn," devoted to the future of design education, and the AIGA’s "Looking Closer: Graphic Design History and Criticism." Heller is also the recipient of the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 1999, the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame Special Educators Award in 1996, The Pratt Institute Herschel Levitt Award in 2000, and the Society of Illustrators Richard Gangel Award for Art Direction in 2006.

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