The Top 10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Steven Heller

Steven Heller Week rolls on here at UnBeige! Of course you know that Heller is (among other things) an art director, author, coauthor, editor, curator, and lecturer who has 120 books to his name (with at least four more in the works, including a biography of Alvin Lustig). But what don’t you know? Last night’s standing-room-only conversation at the School of Visual Arts betwixt Heller and master interlocutor Michael Bierut (the official UnBeige 2008 Presidential Candidate) provided all sorts of fascinating new details about this modern master. We were there to listen closely so as to assemble the Top 10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Steven Heller:

10.) While growing up, he wanted to be in the air force (like his father) or be an historian (like his uncle).

9.) He loves the sound of Michael Bierut’s voice (but then again, who doesn’t?).

8.) He usually goes to bed by 11:30, “before Jon Stewart’s interview,” and wakes up at around 4:30 every morning.

7.) Among his favorite words: “epiphany” and “paradigm.”

6.) He has a longstanding fondness for peacoats. (Note to J. Crew/Mickey Drexler: jump all over this!)

5.) He knows how to fieldstrip a rifle.

4.) His least favorite typeface is Hobo.

3.) For 28 consecutive years, he lived in New York City and didn’t once take the subway.

2.) He is acutely triskaidekaphobic. This includes numbers that add up to 13.

1.) He went directly from art directing Screw magazine, “a sex review,” to a gig at The New York Times, where he would stay for 33 years. (“I had a steep learning curve,” he says. “Because everything I learned at the sex papers didn’t quite apply.”)