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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Feb 7, 2022

Steven Heller is an eminent American graphic designer, art director, art critic and scholar.​ He ​has authored or​ co-authored ​more than 200 ​books which variously trace​ the history of typography, illustration and other subjects related to graphic design.​ I talk with Steve here about Alvin Lustig an American American book designer, graphic designer and typeface designer. Some of Lustig's most innovative work was for New Directions, the independent publishing firm. For example, he designed more than seventy iconic dust jackets for the New Classics literature and other series from the mid-40s until his death in 1955. His non-literal designs exuded a modern art sensibility and incorporated a fresh approach to typeface design that defined the New Directions look. 
Steve and I met via Zoom to discuss Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig a book he co-wrote with  Elaine Lustig Cohen, Alvin's widow. Among other things we talk about magic shows and magicians, design as sleight of hand, illusions, tactility, Frank Lloyd Wright, hot metal, Constructivism, helicopters, furniture design, Ward Ritchie, New Directions, James Laughlin, expressionistic modernism,  primitive art, catholic church propagandists, soldier's ribbon bars, being close to genius, Alvin's blindness, and Steve's forthcoming memoir Growing up Underground (Princeton Architectural Press, 2022)