Finally, the long awaited monograph for the legendary designer Alvin Lustig is available for pre-order and due to arrive sometime in Fall 2010. It has already been a few years since I first heard the news that Steven Heller was working on a biography on the life and work of Lustig (oddly Amazon has this title listed for September 2009). Back in 1993, Steven Heller wrote an article for EyeMagazine titled "Born Modern," which carries the same title as the new book.
Here's an excerpt from "A website about Alvin Lustig pioneers the presentation of design history for the click-and-search generation," an opinionated article by Rick Poynor from 2001:
"...Several essays by Steven Heller, who is writing a biography with Lustig Cohen’s backing, provide information about Lustig’s cover designs, advertising work and office design projects. It would be good to see some alternative perspectives from other commentators. For instance, what do interior design historians make of Lustig’s interiors? There is a bibliography of his writings, but none of the texts is available to read at this stage – at least a few are essential if the site is to become an indispensable resource..."
Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig by Steven Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen is being published by Chronicle Books.
And because none of us can afford a copy of The Collected Writings of Alvin Lustig, the new Born Modern will probably be essential reading for designers.
"...Spanning the breadth of Lustig's tragically brief but prolific career, Born Modern is a must-have for any student or practitioner of design, as well as anyone interested in the history of American visual culture." —Chronicle Books
While we wait for the Born Modern to arrive on bookshelves, take a look around at the vintage book cover designs in the Alvin & Elaine Lustig Design flickr pool, the Faceout Books collection of dust jackets, and the Alvin Lustig archive.