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A Brief History of Logo Design - An interview with Steven Heller

An interview with
Steven Heller


The Logo Design Idea Book is the latest inspirational book from Steven Heller, which shares the story behind 50 successful logos. In this episode Ian interviews Steven to discuss the new book, which leads down a path to discover the origins of logo design.

Steven Heller is the author, co-author, and/or editor of over 100 books on design and popular culture. For 33 years of his career he was art director at the New York Times, and among many other successes, is a recipient of the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Steven Heller Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: You recently released a new book, the Logo Design Idea Book with Gail Anderson, and I’d love to spend the time I have with you talking about your new book, and also your thoughts around logo design. To kick off the discussion, can you share with us an overview of what the book is about?

Steven Heller: Well, the book is part of a series. In fact, it’s the last volume in the series. These idea books started with Graphic Design Idea Book, then Typography Idea Book, Illustration Idea Book and then Logo Idea Book, which I do with one of my collaborators Gail Anderson, who is the chair at SVA for BFA design.

Gail and I have done about 15 books together, and this was just an opportunity to take a semi deep dive, it’s not a full dive, into different aspects of logo design. Since the focus is on an idea, we had to extract, whether from the creator or from ourselves, what idea they’re trying to use to get across whatever message it is that their logo was embodying. So the book is partly anecdotal, partly an overview of the process, and partly a critique.