Steven Heller Italian Art Deco: Graphic Design between the Wars

Italian Art Deco: Graphic Design between the Wars is a book by Steven Heller and Louise Fili.  Again, selecting 3 works to describe an individual such as Steven Heller is very difficult when there are hundreds of works to choose from.  However, I believe it is important to include this one as it is very representative of Heller on two different fronts.

First, this book was co-written with Louise Fili.  Fili is important in describing Heller for two reasons, one of which is that the two are married and have worked together on many publications.  The other is that Heller’s relationship with Fili is one of the reasons he began to have a strong interest in graphic design.  She specifically sparked his interest in typography as that produced a common interest between the couple while dating. The two met at the very influential time where Heller began to understand the importance of graphic design in publications, this is also the time he is working at the New York Free Press similar to the second portfolio entry.

The second reason for choosing this book is that Heller is known for his interest in politics and history.  “The book explores the ways in which Italy’s ruling Fascists used the streamlined images of the art deco style as propaganda during the 1920s and 1930s” (Steven Heller). Here we can see Heller’s personal passion for history and politics coming together with his new found interest, graphic design.  This work is a combination of sorts between what Heller was always interested in and what would transition him into becoming one of the most influential graphic designers of the late 20th century.


“Steven Heller.” Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2016. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 1 Apr. 2018.