Showing items from the Steven Heller Collection
11 Dec

Christmas mail bag

Steven Heller collected more than 250 Christmas cards from artists for a 1980s book project. Many of the cards are hand-drawn or painted, but even the reproductions are playful and highly personal.


04 Nov 2011

Make a date

Some contemporary work from the Troxlers and Do-hyung Kim.


22 Jun 2011

Notes from the underground

Letterhead from early in Steve Heller’s career as an art director.


27 Apr 2011

Eileen Boxer for Ubu Gallery

Eileen Boxer created sublime conceptual mail art to promote exhibitions at Ubu Gallery.


15 Jun 2010

How does one become an Emigre?

Steven Heller Collection: Box 29 Folder 11. Symbol for Emigre #10 from Emigre Brochure, 1988.

Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko’s Emigre defined the look of new media that emerged with the proliferation of the personal computer.


01 Dec 2009

Identity Programs by Noel Martin

Steven Heller Collection: Identity Programs by Noel Martin, identity for Xomox Corporation, manufacturers of valves, actuators and surgical implants.

Noel Martin was a renown self-taught typographer and designer who studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He later became an instructor there and was the long-time designer for the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as a prolific free-lance designer. Martin was celebrated for modernizing museum graphics and industrial trade catalogs. In 1953, he was featured in MoMA’s landmark design exhibition, Four American Designers, along with Herbert Bayer, Leo Lionni, and Ben Shahn. His spiral-bound self-promotional piece, Identity Programs, presents some of his iconic minimalist logos.


03 Nov 2009

Illustrator Jerome Martin

Steven Heller Collection: All the King’s Men cover by Jerome Martin (Time Reading Program), 1963.

Steven Heller recently gave us 82 books from the Time Reading Program; check out his recent article in Design Observer about their wonderfully eclectic covers.

While going through the books myself, I was particularly taken with the three covers done by an illustrator I’d never heard of, Jerome Martin.


14 May 2009

The Composing Room type specimens

Steven Heller Collection: Posters: The Composing Room typography specimens

The Composing Room, founded in 1927 by Sol Cantor and Dr. Robert Leslie in New York City, was not only the city’s preeminent typesetting firm, but also the hub for progressive intellectual and educational activities within graphic arts from the late 1930s through the 1960s. Under the guidance of Leslie, The Composing Room held exhibitions, lecture series, type clinics, and produced one of America’s most influential graphic arts magazines, PM (Production Manager), later called AD (Art Director).

Some more examples of The Composing Room’s elegant type specimens series Typography and Paper after the jump.


05 May 2009

Mom always said…

Steven Heller Collection: Posters.

The best translation I can come up with is “Only so!” which could be completely wrong. In any case, surely the image in this poster from the World Health Organization speaks for itself.

01 May 2009

Interiors magazine

Steven Heller Collection: Interiors November 1953: Cover by Aldo Giurgola.

From the Steven Heller Collection come these lovely covers for Interiors, the influential magazine for interior designers, architects, and industrial designers. The magazine was art directed by notable architect Romaldo Giurgola and Roberto Mango; George Nelson was an editorial contributor.


03 Apr 2009

P22 Type Foundry, Toy Box extras

Steven Heller Collection, source materials for Letterforms, which he wrote with Christine Thompson

The P22 Type Foundry, based in Buffalo, New York, packaged a typeface called Toy Box (originally named Child’s Play) with a set of extra glyphs including a collection of animal line-drawings based on children’s drawings. Commissioned by the London Transport Museum for a children’s exhibition in 1996, it was digitized by P22 founder Richard Kegler, with Michael Want, Mariah Kegler, Kevin Kegler, and Jennifer Kirwin-Want. Steven Heller included it in his book as an example of vernacular type.

29 Jan 2009

For the love of Pee-Wee

Steven Heller Collection: Posters and Prints

Here’s a 1981 print from highly influential graphic artist (and longtime SVA instructor) Gary Panter advertising Paul Reubens’ Pee-Wee stage show in Los Angeles. The show was the springboard for Reubens’ feature film, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and later his acclaimed series, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Panter was the head set designer for the TV show and this early poster displays his trademark jagged lines and surreal sensibility. Now scream real loud when you hear the secret word…