This week on Art Uncovered: design historian Steven Heller. His new book, published by Phaidon, is called Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State. The book surveys the propaganda produced by four of the Twentieth Century’s most notorious totalitarian regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Soviet Russia and Communist China. Iron Fists looks at the the logos, posters, fashion, typefaces, slogans and other visuals produced by these states, and examines the ways that these graphic identity techniques mirror the ones used by modern corporations to sell their products.
Steven Heller spent 33 years as a Senior Art Director at the New York Times and is a co-founder of the MFA in Design Criticism program at The School of Visual Arts. He is a contributing editor to Print, EYE, and baseline magazines and has written and edited more than 100 books throughout his career.
I recently spoke with Steven on the phone about his new book and the relationship between totalitarian propaganda and corporate branding.
*Pages and images from the book, courtesy of Steven Heller and Phaidon Press.
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