Steven Heller

Graphic Designer / United States / Co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York

Steven Heller’s Book List

There are so many books that have made a difference in my life, that it’s hard to even begin to list them. However, here are some titles that have taught or inspired me.

5 books
E. H. (Ernst) Gombrich

I always hoped that Ernst H. Gombrich and I were somehow related. He married Ilse Heller, a Czech concert pianist, which meant there were some degrees of separation. Alas, no such luck. None of my family lived anywhere near Czechoslovakia. But there is a slight spiritual connection. I began my “career” writing about the history of caricature. Gombrich and psychoanalyst Erst Kris wrote a book together on the subject. Apparently, the only place it was ever published (in a sharply cut version) was in Meditations on a Hobby Horse. And that is why I treasure this book. There are many insightful essays therein, but “The Principles of Caricature” is essential reading for any practitioner, scholar, or fan of this transformative art form. It was my inspiration for many years.

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