During my internship at the Letterform Archive, I wrote about a recent acquisition donated by Elaine Lustig Cohen’s estate.

Credit: Letterform Archive, Mailing card for A Millionth Anniversary, Meridian Books, New York, 1958.

Elaine Lustig Cohen’s design career began quite unexpectedly. In 1955 her husband, American graphic designer Alvin Lustig passed away. At 28 years old and with no formal training, she took on the clients and projects that her husband left behind.

Lustig Cohen contributed to the evolving visual language of post-war modernism, guarding principles of clarity and simplicity while embracing the experimental spirit she loved about the avant-garde. Although she had “never designed anything in her life” before her husband’s death, Lustig Cohen became a pioneer in American graphic design, injecting energy into everything she touched.

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