Steven Heller on the great book designer Alvin Lustig


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By Nigel Beale. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Steven Heller is an eminent American graphic designer, art director, art critic and scholar.​ He ​has authored or​ co-authored ​more than 200 ​books which variously trace​ the history of typography, illustration and other subjects related to graphic design.​ I talk with Steve here about Alvin Lustig an American American book designer, graphic designer and typeface designer. Some of Lustig's most innovative work was for New Directions, the independent publishing firm. For example, he designed more than seventy iconic dust jackets for the New Classics literature and other series from the mid-40s until his death in 1955. His non-literal designs exuded a modern art sensibility and incorporated a fresh approach to typeface design that defined the New Directions look. Steve and I met via Zoom to discuss Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig a book he co-wrote with Elaine Lustig Cohen, Alvin's widow. Among other things we talk about magic shows and magicians, design as sleight of hand, illusions, tactility, Frank Lloyd Wright, hot metal, Constructivism, helicopters, furniture design, Ward Ritchie, New Directions, James Laughlin, expressionistic modernism, primitive art, catholic church propagandists, soldier's ribbon bars, being close to genius, Alvin's blindness, and Steve's forthcoming memoir Growing up Underground (Princeton Architectural Press, 2022).

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