If itâ€™s been awhile since youâ€™ve visited the Official Alvin Lustig site, I recommend a second look. Unless I missed it the first few times, more work has been added----and its as impressive as ever.
There are now sections for his advertising, logo, stationary, packaging and typographic design work. And this is just supplementary to his contributions in the areas of architecture, exhibitions, fabrics, furniture, industrial design, office and residential spaces, retail stores and signage.
It was his cover design work for New Directions and Ward Ritchie Press, that cemented him in place as my most admired designer of the past. (this decision wasn't based on aesthetics alone...I was in awe of a man of so many facets and talents, and one that continued to find ways of designing even after losing his sight.)
Below is an interesting excerpt from Steven Hellerâ€™s article Born Modern, which touches upon the latter years of Lustigâ€™s life (printed in Eye Magazine 1993)
â€œ...Diabetes began to erode his vision in 1950 and by 1954 he was virtually blind, yet even this limitation did not prevent him from teaching or designing. After learning that he was losing his vision, he invited his clients to a cocktail party in order to announce it to them, and give them the option to take their business to other designers. Most remained with Lustig. Philip Johnson, a key client and patron, even contracted Lustig to design the signs for the Seagram's building. His wife, Elaine Lustig Cohen, recalls that he fulfilled his obligations by directing her and his assistants in every meticulous detail to complete the work he could no longer see. He specified color by referring to the color of a chair or sofa in their house and used simple geometries to express his fading vision.
In the 1950s, Lustig decided to emigrate to Israel, not from any religious conviction, but because he believed that in this infant state good design could exert a significant impact on society. But Lustig died in 1955 before he had the chance to test this theory. Instead, he left behind a body of unique design that stands up to the scrutiny of time, and models how a personal vision wedded to Modern form can be effectively applied in the public sphere.â€
Credit for image shown:
Canon Electric Company, Catalog 1942.