From Library Journal
Those familiar with the writing of noted graphic design chronicler Heller may have already encountered several of the essays found here in various design periodicals such as Print, Critique, and Eye. Others may be aware of his work as the art director of the New York Times Book Review or of the innumerable design books he has authored and/or edited. For these readers, it will be gratifying to review a compendium that allows one to form a composite picture of Heller. He has an active mind and a balanced perspective and excels at placing graphic design in historical context, a much-needed boost for a profession that is coming into its own. If there is a complaint to be leveled, it would be that a book of this scope (which holds the design profession in such high regard) is itself so poorly designed. While visual communication may be the subject, there is little visual enjoyment to be had. A flat and uninspired layout is compounded by an overall shortage of illustrations, often leaving the reader to wonder in vain about the references being made. Despite the wide perspective that Heller brings to the graphic design field, the book is squarely rooted in the 20th century, and it certainly belongs in the graphic design section, as it would provide little gratification for the non-design reader. Recommended for larger public libraries or libraries with extensive liberal arts, fine arts, or art history sections. Phil Hamlett, San Francisco
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Steven Heller is the art director of The New York Times Book Review. Recipient of the 1999 AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement and author or editor of more than 70 books on graphic design, he lives in New York City.