Alvin Lustig

River Glimmered

“Dreams and restless thoughts came flowing to him from the river… When Siddhartha awoke, the pale river shimmered past the door…The broad sheet of water glimmered pink in the light of the morning…’Yes’, said the ferryman, ‘it is a very beautiful river…I have often listened to it, gazed at it... One can learn much from a river’.”[1]
Alvin Lustig, Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, graphic design, books, book covers


“Work? It’s just serious play,” Saul Bass remarked in a 1993 interview. Indeed, Saul Bass’s marvelous career, which spanned from the 1930s until his death in 1996, is defined by his trademark wit, humor, and playfulness. Whether it was in movie posters, billboards, brand identities, or packaging design, Bass always injected his work with a delightful energy and intelligence, quite remarkable given the distilled simplicity of his work.
Saul Bass, poster, graphic design, Arts Students League, Bauhaus, Paul Rand, Alvin Lustig, New York City, film, Judaism

Alvin Lustig’s Incantation

Although his career was tragically short, Alvin Lustig was among America’s most influential mid-century graphic designers. Textiles like Incantation (1947) reflect a rich multidisciplinary practice that encompassed furniture, graphics, architecture, and animation. After studying design and printing at Los Angeles Junior College, Lustig started creating geometric patterns in the medium of letterpress in the early 1930s.
Alvin Lustig, Laverne Originals, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Elaine Lustig Cohen, textiles

The Meeting of Modern Minds

In Alvin Lustig’s cover design for Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems, one shape moves by the other, led by its emanation. Rising to the surface, from field to foreground, negative space turns positive. Infinite mutations form a continuum that is hard-edged yet sensuous.
Alvin Lustig, Ezra Pound, New Directions, poetry, book cover design, Black Mountain College, modernism