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A font designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1930s is being revived as wood type and digital fonts w/ the guidance of Elaine Lustig Cohen.
A font designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1930s is being revived as wood type and digital fonts w/ the guidance of Elaine Lustig Cohen.
326 backers pledged $22,884 to help bring this project to life.

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$22,884

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Help bring 'Lustig Elements' to life!

Contribute to the history of graphic design with a project that is 75+ years in the making.

This project is a celebration of Elaine Lustig Cohen and her generosity of spirit.

In the fall of 2010, AIGA Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927) agreed to work with me to revive a font originally designed in the 1930s by AIGA Medalist Alvin Lustig (1915-1955).

Like many designers, I have been and continue to be inspired by the design and typography work of Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen. Based initially on reference material in "Born Modern; The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig" (Chronicle Books, 2010), co-written by Steve Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen, I set out to revive a font originally called "Euclid." Elaine and I have been periodically working together for 5+ years to complete the new version of the font, now called "Lustig Elements."

'Euclid A New Type' type experiments from the late 1930s. The letterforms are created by combining geometric shapes that could often be found in a typical letterpress printer's type case.
'Euclid A New Type' type experiments from the late 1930s. The letterforms are created by combining geometric shapes that could often be found in a typical letterpress printer's type case.

THREE FUNDING GOALS:

1) Wood Type
Cut new wood type at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum (Two Rivers, WI - woodtype.org) for use in letterpress printing.

2) Digital Fonts
Produce new Lustig Elements digital fonts with P22 Type Foundry - Lustig Elements Regular, Lustig Elements Small Caps, and Lustig Elements Inline.

3) Film (*See add'l info. below)
Produce a short, 5- to 10-minute film about Lustig Elements, featuring Elaine Lustig Cohen; under the direction of and with contributions from Ryan Heffernan and Pammi Simone.

If the Kickstarter effort is successful, the funding will be used for the following:
- Create a full set of patterns from which the wood type will be cut
- Cutting, trimming, and finishing two 5A sets of Lustig Elements 2" wood type at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
- Production of digital fonts with P22 Type Foundry
- Film production: photography, filming, editing, music, travel, etc.

Additionally, if the Kickstarter effort is successful, a companion web site will be launched - lustigelements.com

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THE REWARDS

**All prints will be shipped in 4" diameter tubes.**
**International shipping is available - please note the additional shipping charges in each Reward's description.**

SPECIMEN SHEETS - PORTRAIT
The original uppercase letterforms printed with the 2" wood type cut at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. Own a piece of typographic history with a full set of printed Lustig Elements font specimens. Printed via letterpress on 11"x14" 110# Cover Fluorescent White Crane's Lettra® at a size that's ready for a standard-size mat/frame.

SPECIMEN SHEETS - PORTRAIT / Signed Limited Edition
The same specimen sheet as described above signed by Elaine Lustig Cohen. An incredibly unique opportunity. Limited to 150 rewards.

11"x14" Lustig Elements Specimen Sheet - **Note: the image above is a Photoshop composite to show a representation of the finished piece**
11"x14" Lustig Elements Specimen Sheet - **Note: the image above is a Photoshop composite to show a representation of the finished piece**

SPECIMEN SHEETS - WIDE 
A full set of printed Lustig Elements font specimens. Printed via letterpress on 20"x5" 110# Cover Fluorescent White Crane's Lettra®. Please note: this will be printed via a photopolymer plate - not the wood type that will be cut at Hamilton.

Lustig Elements specimens assembled neatly together in a single row - Note: the image above is a Photoshop composite
Lustig Elements specimens assembled neatly together in a single row - Note: the image above is a Photoshop composite

NOTEBOOKS WITH LUSTIG ELEMENTS GRID*
Make your own Lustig Elements letterforms! Or, simply use for taking notes and/or sketching. 

Alvin Lustig's personal interest in and commitment to printing via letterpress is key to the decision to print the notebook covers via letterpress.

Interior spreads of notebooks will include grid layout from which Lustig Elements was designed
Interior spreads of notebooks will include grid layout from which Lustig Elements was designed

The top portion of the 32 interior pages of each notebook will include the same 2.75" high geometric grid used to design Lustig Elements. The bottom portion of each page includes references to the four geometric shapes used to compose the letterforms and open space to take notes. 3.5" x 5.5" custom notebooks with covers printed via letterpress using Neenah Environment® and Neenah Astrobrights® paper stocks.

*Interior pages are planned to be printed on Neenah Environment® paper stock via offset printing and the grid layout will be printed light enough that it will not be disruptive to using the notebooks for regular note taking and/or sketching. 

The colors of the notebooks are historical references to Alvin Lustig's and Allison McNay's 'Media, A Design and Production Center' promotional items from the early 1940s. 

Promotional piece from 'Media, A Design and Production Center' from the early 1940s
Promotional piece from 'Media, A Design and Production Center' from the early 1940s
Set of 3 notebooks - 1 of each design, including black-on-black facsimile of Elaine Lustig Cohen's signature - *Note: Image above has been Photoshopped; nothing printed yet
Set of 3 notebooks - 1 of each design, including black-on-black facsimile of Elaine Lustig Cohen's signature - *Note: Image above has been Photoshopped; nothing printed yet

PRINTS - BIG LETTERS
Add some Lustig Elements typographic styling to your work space, apartment, or home. Big, 8" high letters printed via letterpress (using photopolymer plates) in black on 11"x14" 110# Cover Fluorescent White Crane's Lettra® at a size that's ready for a standard-size mat/frame.

Alphabet options include 'ABC' and 'XYZ' prints. 'LAX' and 'NYC' pay tribute to the Lustigs' time in each great city.

Add some alphabet to your life with 'ABC' and/or 'XYZ' prints - *Frame not included
Add some alphabet to your life with 'ABC' and/or 'XYZ' prints - *Frame not included
For the metropolitan modernist in you - 'LAX' and 'NYC' prints that celebrate the Lustigs' time in each city - *Frame not included
For the metropolitan modernist in you - 'LAX' and 'NYC' prints that celebrate the Lustigs' time in each city - *Frame not included

DIGITAL FONT(S) (P22 Type Foundry)

Reviewing Lustig Elements at Hamilton with Rich Kegler from P22
Reviewing Lustig Elements at Hamilton with Rich Kegler from P22

There are three Lustig Elements fonts in development:
- Lustig Elements Regular
- Lustig Elements Small Caps
- Lustig Elements Inline

Lustig Elements Regular
Lustig Elements Regular
Regular, Small Caps, and Inline
Regular, Small Caps, and Inline

FILM (CREDITS)
An opportunity to link yourself to the film that will capture the story of Lustig Elements through the voice of Elaine Lustig Cohen. A limited number of individuals' names (10) to be included in the film credits and on the web site.

The film is sincerely a passion project - there are no firm plans in place at this point for how/where the film may be distributed. However, everyone who supports this Kickstarter project will be among the first to be informed of the film's progress and how/when/where it may be viewed once it's completed.

Jim Sherraden from Nashville's Hatch Show Print on camera for an interview during the 2015 Hamilton Wayzgoose
Jim Sherraden from Nashville's Hatch Show Print on camera for an interview during the 2015 Hamilton Wayzgoose

WOOD TYPE
VERY RARE OPPORTUNITY to own a piece of typographic history - only 10 pieces available. It's a premium reward given its rarity. We'll cut ten Lustig Elements ampersands and offer them as rewards in combination with a signed specimen sheet.

Prototype 2" wood type from initial test cutting/trimming
Prototype 2" wood type from initial test cutting/trimming

PRESENTATION/WORKSHOP
A full, behind-the-scenes view of what was involved in the design and making of Lustig Elements. From the first visit to Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum (which has since been razed) to the research and design processes employed, a full overview will be shared with your AIGA group, college program, or creative team.

Craig Welsh, Nicholas Stover, and Elaine Lustig Cohen working on early renderings of the font
Craig Welsh, Nicholas Stover, and Elaine Lustig Cohen working on early renderings of the font
Reviewing sketches for lowercase letterforms
Reviewing sketches for lowercase letterforms

I'll also bring a set of Lustig Elements wood type so that we can put ink to paper and make original prints with the finished font.

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Background - Lustig Elements

AIGA Medalist Alvin Lustig led a very productive yet very brief life (1915-1955). As his health declined, his wife, Elaine Lustig (Cohen), began taking the lead on design projects in Alvin's studio. After Alvin's passing, Elaine continued forward and established a well-respected and well-deserved reputation as one of the country's top designers - ultimately receiving the 2011 AIGA Medal.

What is now known as 'Lustig Elements' had originally been referred to as "Euclid. A New Type" - referenced on page 35 of the "Born Modern" book about Alvin Lustig's work (Chronicle Books, 2010). 

My early conversations with Elaine revealed that 'Euclid. A New Type' was the only remaining reference to the font designed in the 1930s. From the 12 unique letterforms designed by Alvin Lustig in that short phrasing, the full Lustig Elements font was revived with the direction of Elaine Lustig Cohen. Since the initial letterforms were completed, I have worked to design more than 250 glyphs for the font's digital offerings.

According to Elaine, Alvin's inspiration for geometric letterforms was Oliver Byrne's seminal book on Euclidean Geometry published in 1847, "The First Six Books of The Elements of Euclid." 

Elaine's first edition copy of Oliver Byrne's 'The Elements of Euclid' published in 1847
Elaine's first edition copy of Oliver Byrne's 'The Elements of Euclid' published in 1847

The font name 'Lustig Elements' is a reference to Alvin, Elaine, and the 'Elements of Euclid' book by Byrne.

The letterforms are composed of combinations of four basic shapes - a typographic design exercise regularly employed by Alvin Lustig.

The four geometric shapes and the basic grid structure for Lustig Elements
The four geometric shapes and the basic grid structure for Lustig Elements
View of the individual elements used to compose A-E in Lustig Elements
View of the individual elements used to compose A-E in Lustig Elements

The digital version of Lustig Elements Regular will include more than 250 glyphs when completed. 

Background - Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

Located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum is a national treasure.

The museum includes functioning machinery and pantograph routers that date back more than 100 years. From the late 19th Century to the early- to mid-20th Century Hamilton was the world's premier producer of wood type used for letterpress printing, primarily crafting headline type for the newspaper industry.

With Georgie Brylski and Mardell Doubek (Hamilton pantograph operators) at the 2015 Wayzgoose in Two Rivers, WI
With Georgie Brylski and Mardell Doubek (Hamilton pantograph operators) at the 2015 Wayzgoose in Two Rivers, WI
Prototype Lustig Elements patterns and wood type (November, 2015)
Prototype Lustig Elements patterns and wood type (November, 2015)

The wood used to cut Lustig Elements was originally sourced and dried in the 1970s. It has sat dormant for decades waiting to be used for a project as unique as Lustig Elements.

Today the museum works with select designers to cut new wood type as part of its new Legacy Wood Type Collection, featuring fonts designed by the likes of Nick Sherman, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekerman, and Louise Fili.

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CONTRIBUTORS

Filming/Photography
The photography and filming for the project have been shot by accomplished image makers and friends Ryan Heffernan and Pammi Simone. They have each traveled to NYC to shoot the work on the font taking place with Elaine Lustig Cohen and to Two Rivers, WI to capture the activities at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. 

The first shoot took place in January 2013 in the original Hamilton Wood Type factory buildings that have since been razed. 

Ryan Heffernan capturing our first look at the operation of the pantograph by Jim Moran, director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum (January, 2013)
Ryan Heffernan capturing our first look at the operation of the pantograph by Jim Moran, director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum (January, 2013)
Pammi Simone mic'ing Steve Heller at Hamilton for on-camera interview (November, 2015)
Pammi Simone mic'ing Steve Heller at Hamilton for on-camera interview (November, 2015)

One more trip to NYC is needed to complete the filming and photography.

Printing
Letterpress printing is to be produced by printer and good friend George Graves who brings top-tier letterpress production skills from his experiences at noted print shops in Salt Lake City and Boston.

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GRATITUDE

Thanks to Elaine Lustig Cohen, Hamilton Wood Type (Bill Moran, Jim Moran, Stephanie Carpenter, Georgie Brylski, Mardell Doubek, and AJ Lorrigan), P22 (Rich Kegler), Steve Heller, Jim Sherraden (Hatch Show Print), Nicholas Stover (design), Lindsay Schmittle (design), Jordan Grove (production), Zach Fogleman (production), Brian Ulrich (research), and Scott McFadden (research) for helping to make this project such a sincere joy. Thanks as well to my colleagues and students at Penn State Harrisburg for providing me with time away from the classroom to focus on completing this project.

Sincere thanks to Kit Hinrichs for including Lustig Elements in the 2016 '365' calendar; featured for the month of April.

Lustig Elements featured in the 2016 '365' calendar from Studio Hinrichs (photo courtesy Nick Stover)
Lustig Elements featured in the 2016 '365' calendar from Studio Hinrichs (photo courtesy Nick Stover)

Thanks also to Steven Brower for the history of graphic design course that revealed the design of Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen.

Lastly, my most humble gratitude to my good friend Richard Zeid for introducing me to Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.

Risks and challenges

Unforeseen production challenges may occur. However, everyone involved in the project has the experience necessary to see that the production goes smoothly and that fulfillment of rewards takes place in a timely manner.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    UPDATES
    Your assistance at this level will be rewarded by ensuring you receive all Backer updates and opportunities, including information about the film's progress and when/where it will be available for viewing. Many thanks in advance.

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    DIGITAL FONT - LUSTIG ELEMENTS
    Digital, OpenType format of 'Lustig Elements Regular' from P22 digital type foundry. Download link will be provided when font is completed.

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    NOTEBOOKS - LUSTIG ELEMENTS GRID / EARLY BIRD
    A pack of 3 custom notebooks (3.5"x5.5", 32 pgs.) with pages featuring the geometric grid used to design the font. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    NOTEBOOKS - LUSTIG ELEMENTS GRID
    A pack of 3 custom notebooks (3.5"x5.5", 32 pgs.) with pages featuring the geometric grid used to design the font. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    SPECIMEN SHEET - EARLY BIRD
    A 11"x14" specimen sheet featuring uppercase A-Z. To be printed with the original wood type produced at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    DIGITAL FONTS - LUSTIG ELEMENTS
    All three digital, OpenType versions (Regular, Small Cap, and Inline) of Lustig Elements from P22 digital type foundry. Download link will be provided when font is completed.

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    SPECIMEN SHEET - WIDE
    A 20"x5" specimen sheet featuring uppercase A-Z. To be printed via polymer plate. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    PRINTS - BIG LETTERS (QTY. 1)*
    11"x14" print featuring ONE of the following (your choice): 'ABC,' 'XYZ,' 'LAX,' 'NYC.' To be printed via polymer plate. *Rewards for more than 1 Big Letters print also available below.* *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    SPECIMEN SHEET
    A 11"x14" specimen sheet featuring uppercase A-Z. To be printed with the original wood type produced at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    PRINTS - BIG LETTERS (QTY. 2)*
    11"x14" prints featuring TWO of the following (your choice): 'ABC,' 'XYZ,' 'LAX,' 'NYC.' To be printed via polymer plate. *Rewards for more than 2 Big Letters prints also available below.* *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    PRINTS - BIG LETTERS (QTY. 3)*
    11"x14" prints featuring THREE of the following (your choice): 'ABC,' 'XYZ,' 'LAX,' 'NYC.' To be printed via polymer plate. *Rewards for more than 3 Big Letters prints also available below.* *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    SPECIMEN SHEET - *SIGNED*
    A 11"x14" specimen sheet featuring uppercase A-Z. To be printed with the original wood type produced at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. Limited edition signed by AIGA Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    PRINTS - BIG LETTERS (QTY. 4)*
    11"x14" prints featuring FOUR of the following (your choice): 'ABC,' 'XYZ,' 'LAX,' 'NYC.' To be printed via polymer plate. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    FILM CREDITS
    Your name will be included in the film credits and on the web site. You'll also receive a specimen sheet signed by Elaine Lustig Cohen. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    WOOD TYPE
    VERY RARE opportunity to own a piece of Lustig Elements wood type from Hamilton. A limited number of Ampersands will be cut exclusively for this reward. You'll also receive a specimen sheet signed by Elaine Lustig Cohen. *Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.A.

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    PRESENTATION & PRINTING W/ WOOD TYPE
    Great for AIGA groups, colleges, and in-house creative teams. I'll travel to your location anywhere in the U.S. to share the full story of the 5+ years of reviving the font. Includes 1-hour presentation and 6-hour, hands-on workshop* printing with Lustig Elements wood type from Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. **I'll bring the wood type / you supply the printing equipment - press(es), ink, brayer(s), paper, etc.**

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Funding period

- (29 days)