Spring 2023

Subterranean looks back

Growing Up Underground: A Memoir of Counterculture New York

By Steven Heller, Designed by Matt Smith (Louise Fili Ltd), Princeton Architectural Press, $27.50, £19.99

Before Steven Heller was the graphic design commentator, historian and educator Eye readers know well, he was a teenage wannabe hippie, looking for his place in the underground publishing world of New York City. What is so endearing about his memoir, Growing Up Underground, is that we get a window into this grassroots, sometimes raunchy, world from the perspective of a person many of us have known for so long as one of the preeminent graphic design experts. Heller gets vulnerable at times, sharing his journey, his yearning to join the publishing freaks, get political, and bare his creative soul, while also struggling with social anxiety, and meddling authority figures …

Briar Levit, director (Graphic Means), associate professor, Portland State University, US

Read the full version in Eye no. 104 vol. 26, 2023

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.