Steven Heller’s wide ranging, longstanding career in graphic design includes more than 30 years as art director at The New York Times. With Lita Talarico, he co-founded the Designer as Author graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and he is the author of many books on the graphic arts. The most recent of these, Type Tells Tales, written with Gail Anderson, was published by Yale University Press in May 2017.
At the request of the Amazon Book Review, Heller compiled a list of eleven essential books on the graphic arts and typography, with notes on each book. As you’ll see, he has written introductions to a number of these, or is otherwise personally connected to the authors. But this is not nepotism at work: It’s a reflection of Heller’s intense engagement with the field of graphic design, which he has so long championed.
Heller divides his book recommendations into sections, saying, “Books on graphic design fit into three categories: The practical. The theoretical. The historical. Often, over time, one morphs into another category with time as the arbiter.”
Here is his list of recommended reading, with his notes on each volume.
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In addition to the books Heller recommends above, you might also enjoy these works of his: