Posted by Margarita Korol
If you are a person of the Nerd Porn persuasion, then you are surely familiar with the work, if not the name of Alvin Lustig. His holistic graphic design graced the titles of New Directions publications in the 50s and supplied the iconic modernist look that sums up the decadence your mind is yet to consume in the pages within. New Directions Publishing, the folks that introduced Delmore Schwartz and brought back The Great Gatsby (among a tremendous array of other calls to fame), have come out with new editions this season that will tickle your fancy à la Lustig all over again.
With a satisfying eclectic mix of poetry and fiction titles, the covers too are spread across artistic planes. Title of note: check out the modernist throwback in their new edition of Rimbaud’s bound poem “A Season in Hell” (with a fitting preface by his biggest fan Patti Smith). Also exciting are a centennial edition of The Glass Menagerie with a sculptural rendition of Lustig’s original cover, and the sultry The Princess of Clèves based on the 1951 jacket. Even where ND strays from the modernist grandfather’s design, his commitment to proper typesetting echoes as titles are revamped with proper style inside and out. Better than feng shui.

In the end, Lustig’s artistic fate was impossibly tragic, losing his sight due to diabetes and dying at the young age of 40. We are lucky that organizations like New Directions Publishing and the Art Director’s Club, which inducted Lustig as an honorary member, could make important art immortal even if the artist himself could not be.

Want more? A gluttonous unending scroll of Lustig here.

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