Alvin Lustig was born in Denver/California1915 -1955. A modernist without an issue of barriers . An American generalist for Interior design. Creating a realistic and comfortable form of liberty and nostalgia, still appreciated as fresh and innovative today .A 1949 excibitionat the composing room gallery in N.Y . said that if it were to be replaced today it would still be fresh and innovative .
Introduced at a young age by a teacher to (french)posters,sculpture and modern art , a chord was struck with Lustig which he devoted his time to ,
'This ability to see freshly and unencumbered by preconceived verbal,literary, moral ideas,is the first step in responding to modern art .'
At 21 became a freelance printer/typographer doing jobs on a letter press which was kept out the back of a drug store .
Lustig took on type colaberatly , not just with serifs or san serifs but recuts of old gothic and slab serifs which were difficult to obtain in the united states at the time . He would source these types from Germany , England and photos stat them or piece them together to create his own eclectic composition .
"The factors that produce quality are the same in tradition and contemporary book, wherein ,then lies difference ?perhaps the single most distinguishing factor in the approach of the contemporary designer is the willingness to let the problem act upon him freely and without preconceived notions of the form it should take."
The paucity of work in California forced Lustig to move to New York in 1944, where he became visual research director of Look magazine’s design department until 1946. He not only designed progressive-looking printed house organs and promotional materials, he designed the actual department in a Modern manner. While in New York, he took up interior design and began exploring industrial design as well. In 1946 he returned to Los Angeles and for five years ran an office specializing in architectural, furniture and fabric design, while continuing his book and editorial work. To hire Lustig was to get more than a cosmetic makeover. He wanted to be totally involved in an entire design program—from business card to office building. His designs for both the print materials and office interiors for Light exemplify the strict and total unity of his vision.
“As we become more mature we will learn to master the interplay between the past and the present and not be so self-conscious of our rejection or acceptance of tradition. We will not make the mistake that both rigid modernists and conservatives make, of confusing the quality of form with the specific forms themselves.
Diabetes began to erode Lustigs vision at an early age ,when he was reaching his forties ,He became virtually blind ,still willing he was to practise with concepts and ideas as well as teach .
After announcing to his staff and clients his lose of vision and barriers with restriction,His wife and the loyal parties continued with Lustig explaining through reference with his wife to household appliances and coloures. Outstanding . Unfortunately the diabetes took him early in his fifties .
Alvin lustig designed specially with his book jackets as a visual stimulation ,for the buyer , reading the books and any information before evan putting an idea to paper .