Heller Chats with Paul Vjecsner

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Steven Heller has a fantastic new interview up at the AIGA, this time with the legendary designer, Paul Vjecsner. A Holocaust survivor who moved to the US shortly after the war, he found his way into working with the government’s Recruiting Publicity Bureau, where he created some of the more instantly recognizable pieces of poster art out there. Beyond that, he’s had an amazing career, largely after he moved to Prague, and that makes for a tremendous interview. Here’s some:

Heller: What were some of your other early assignments, and how did you receive those commissions?

Vjecsner: I assume you mean in the U.S. I should make something clear from the start: I did not succeed in making a name for myself in the U.S., as you may know. I was extremely successful in the preceding two years in Prague, having grown up in that culture and being quite skilled at drawing. But I had no formal education, not only in art, but in general, due to the war years. So I was unprepared to assimilate to the U.S. conditions, the native commercial art in particular.