The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 12, 2016
by Dan
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Elaine Lustig Cohen, Pioneer

I was sad to hear that designer Elaine Lustig Cohen had died aged 89 last week. She will forever be associated with her more famous husband Alvin Lustig, but she was a remarkable designer in her own right and her influence, as Steven … Continue reading

May 16, 2014
by Dan
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Steven Heller and 100 Classic Graphic Design Journals on Design Matters

In his annual visit to Design Matters, Steven Heller talks to Debbie Millman about design journals, his new book 100 Classic Graphic Design Journals (co-authored with Jason Godfrey), and the future of design magazines in print: You can also read a short … Continue reading

May 6, 2014
by Dan
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100 Classic Graphic Design Journals

A copy of 100 Classic Graphic Design Journals by Steven Heller and Jason Godfrey just landed on my desk. The book will be in stores in the US and Canada later this month, and it looks fantastic: It doesn’t seem … Continue reading

January 28, 2014
by Dan
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Q & A with Steven Heller, Shadow Type

“Dimensional typefaces toy with human perception, challenging the limits of cognition. Whether framed by a subtle tint or a bold silhouette, in color or in black and white, a shadow adds bulk, enabling the words to rise voluminously from otherwise … Continue reading

November 27, 2013
by Dan
1 Comment

Shadow Type and The Designers & Books Online Book Fair

Steven Heller and Louise Fili talk about their beautiful new book Shadow Type in a new video for Designers & Books: The video is part of the Designers & Books Online Book Fair, a wonderful directory of design books that … Continue reading

September 4, 2013
by Dan
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Paul Rand’s Book Jackets and Covers

Steven Heller’s fascinating School of Visual Arts lecture on the book covers of Paul Rand: (via David Pearson)

May 13, 2013
by Dan
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Inside Steven Heller’s Cave

Since I was an infant, I have feared my father’s den. Based on its ancient relics and mass clutter, I have since referred to the location as “Steven Heller’s Cave.” Steven Heller’s son Nicolas (A.K.A. Ricky Shabazz) has made short … Continue reading

September 5, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Steven Heller shares a few pages from Effective Type-use for Advertising, self-published by Benjamin Sherbow in 1922, at Imprint. Lost in the Shuffle — Brian Appleyard profiles the writer and critic Clive James: James’s television work, brilliant as it was, has tended to blur his … Continue reading

July 27, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

You Can’t Keep a Good Creator Down — An interesting piece by Noelene Clark on women in comics for the LA Times ‘Hero Complex’ blog: a broader look at the world of comics and the women who work there reveals the … Continue reading

May 7, 2012
by Dan
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Design Matters with Steven Heller

In a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation, design historian Steven Heller talks about design and his recent book 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design with Debbie Millman on Design Matters: Design Matters: Steven Heller mp3 Heller really is an astonishingly prolific … Continue reading

March 23, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Ways of Designing — Steven Heller chats with British graphic designer Richard Hollis, who designed the original cover for the classic Ways of Seeing by John Berger (among other things), at Imprint: My generation went from hot-metal to photosetting to … Continue reading

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