Inaugural Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary awarded to Anne Quito of Quartz
Inaugural Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary awarded to Anne Quito of Quartz
Inaugural Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary awarded to Anne Quito of Quartz
By AIGA April 20, 2017

NEW YORK—April 20, 2017. AIGA, the professional association for design awarded the inaugural Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary to Anne Quito of Quartz.

The annual award recognizes a young writer who best exemplifies the tradition of prolific writing established by Steven Heller, who has inspired engaging commentary about design and culture for the past three decades.

Anne Quito, Quartz’s design and architectural reporter, covers a range of topics from graphic design to corporate branding to product design and more. Quito has contributed essays to numerous publications, including her MFA thesis, featured on NPR, which explores the national branding the world’s newest country, South Sudan. She holds a master’s degree in visual culture from Georgetown University and an MFA in design criticism from SVA. Quito is also the founding director of Design Lab, an in-house design studio within FHI360, an international human development organization.

“I'm so thrilled with this honor. With an SVA class called No Google Research, Steve Heller essentially taught me how to be a journalist. He impressed on me this sense that there are no shortcuts to great stories. Meeting the creators or inspecting the artifact is the responsibility and the reward of a design writer. His humor, fairness, boundless curiosity, and incredible productivity inspire me on a daily basis,” says Quito.

The award is in honor of Steven Heller, a 1999 AIGA Medalist and prolific author of more than 140 books on graphic design, illustration, and political arts. Steve serves as co-chair of SVA’s MFA Design Department; special assistant to the SVA president; co-founder of SVA’s MFA Design Criticism, MPS Branding, MFA Interaction Design, MFA Products of Design, and the Impact! Design for Social Change program with Mark Randall. He is also a contributing editor at Print, where he writes The Daily Heller, Eye, and Baseline; contributing writer at Metropolis, Design Bureau, Design Observer, Port, and IDPure; and columnist and former senior art director, The New York Times Book Review.

About AIGA

AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA today serves more than 22,000 members through 66 chapters and 200 student groups throughout the United States. AIGA stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. Learn more at


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