Steven Heller is an art director, journalist, critic, editor and author of more than 150 books on graphic design and popular culture themes.
Heller is currently 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 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 & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design symposiums.
He was an art director at the New York Times for 33 years, originally on the op-ed page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review.
Over more than two decades Heller has contributed hundreds of articles, critical essays and columns to scores of design magazines and culture journals, including Print, Eye, Baseline and I.D.
Heller has produced and curated a number of exhibitions and organised various conferences. As editor of the AIGA JOURNAL OF GRAPHIC DESIGN he published scores of critical and journalistic writers on design, and currently as editor of AIGA VOICE: Online Journal of Design, he continues to help build a critical vocabulary for the field.
Heller is also the recipient of the 2011 Smithsonian National Design Award for “Design Mind,” 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. His favorite of his 150 books is "Iron Fists: Branding the Totalitarian State" for Phaidon Press, an anaylsis of how the major dictatorships used graphics to propagate their ideologies. He is currently finishing a historical survey of 100 graphic design magazines for Laurence King Publishers.