100 Ideas Changed Graphic Design, Heller Discused 30 at Palaexpo

Jun 06 2013

Photos: Courtesy Cristina Chiappini

On Tuesday night, MFAD co-chair Steven Heller listened through headphones as the evening’s host, designer Cristina Chiappini, introduced him for the fourth time in five years to the audience of designers and museum members at Rome’s Palaexpo Museum. They were interested in hearing whether Heller’s, and former MFAD faculty member Veronique Vienne’s, selections for their book 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design (Laurence King Publisher) were the one’s they would have chosen.

Asked who in the audience was a graphic designer, two-thirds raised their hands. Of that number it is unclear how many spoke English and how many listened to the translator, who, we’re told, covered the basics very well, but ignored Heller’s signature quips.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the talk:

“The big idea for this talk is to determine, define, discuss and illustrate the big ideas that created the critical mass that produced the art and craft of contemporary graphic design (and whatever it may be called in the future).

Big ideas are notions, conceptions, inventions and inspirations. They are formal, pragmatic, conceptual and intuitive. Through synthesis and application, these ideas have become foundations of a graphic design language.

The key criterion for a big idea is that it has “legs.” which means it has been around for more than an instant. It is not just a trend, fad or style.”