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Cover Art Cubism
This 1948 jacket for William Carlos Williams’ book-length poem Paterson was designed by Alvin Lustig for New Directions Publishing’s New Classics series, a collection of reprints of modern literature. Lustig and Williams, a self-expressive graphic designer and a painterly writer, respectively, are a particularly complimentary pair, of the many authors whose work Lustig visually rendered....
Poetry and Posters
Russian-born designer Alexander Gelman worked in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s. His simple icons strive not so much to capture the essence of a subject, but rather to offer an off-kilter view of it. Here, a table lamp represents a poetry reading. The illustration is, one might say, beside the point....
Elaine Lustig Cohen: An Interview
Designer and artist Elaine Lustig Cohen was married to Alvin Lustig from 1948 to 1955. She managed her husband’s studio, serving as a secretary, production assistant, and draftsperson—the “office slave,” as she recalls. As Lustig lost his eyesight to diabetes, he increasingly relied on his wife to execute his concepts. Following Lustig’s death in 1955,...
Hand-Lettered Illuminations
A book cover must quickly capture a viewer’s attention and provoke curiosity about the content within, contributing an enduring element to the reader’s experience. The covers designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1940s and 1950s employ abstracted iconography and simple typography and lettering to create emotionally compelling representations of a book’s themes. Lustig, who died...