Lustig Elements Collection – A Labor of Love Comes to Life

Lustig-Elements-Beauty-of-letterpress

One of the things I enjoy most about working with designers is getting a behind the scenes look at the process of a project. Usually I enter into the process during the pre-production phase, after the design concept is complete and before specs go to printer for quote. It’s always a treat when I get to see a project come to life. The only time it’s more special is when it’s a passion project. A few weeks ago we shared the campaign to fund the development of the font, Lustig Elements, whose roots were born in the 1930s. Today, The Beauty of Letterpress by Neenah presents the Lustig Elements Collection, a remarkable new series of limited edition letterpress prints, commissioned in honor of notable design pioneers Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen.

The Lustig Elements Collection is available for purchase on The Beauty of Letterpress beginning today, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. This first installment of the collection includes four letterpress prints designed by Craig Welsh, of Go Welsh. Only 100 of each print were produced.

The Lustig Elements Collection gets its name from a typeface that modernist designer Alvin Lustig began to design in the 1930’s but never completed. Welsh, a design educator and award-winning designer based in Lancaster, PA, rediscovered the font and began a mission to revive it. Over a four-year period he worked closely with AIGA Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen to bring the Lustig Elements font to life. The newly completed typeface was created for both wood type and a digital font.

Now, with the successful funding of Welsh’s recent Kickstarter, new wood type is being cut at the famed Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and new digital fonts are in production at the acclaimed P22 Type Foundry. “This is a wonderful story of passion, dedication, commitment, and perseverance,”said Auburne Gahlman, manager of The Beauty of Letterpress by Neenah. “We are so happy to be part of it.”

Lustig-Elements-Beauty-of-letterpress3

The editions were printed in five colors on CRANE’S LETTRA® Cover, 110C (297 g/m2) by Fabrik, a new letterpress studio out of Pennsylvania and Boston. Welsh, known for his reprint of the Declaration of Independence, started Fabrik with letterpress guru George Graves. Graves literally hand-cranked the editions one at a time on a vintage 1949 Vandercook 219 New Style. Ironically, the press, of which there are only about 50 today, was manufactured in 1949. “Alvin and Elaine would have been newlyweds when the press was made,” said Welsh.

Lustig-Elements-Beauty-of-letterpress4

“Neenah is thrilled to continue to produce and sell these editions to raise monies for Hamilton. We are especially thrilled to collaborate with Craig and this extraordinary Lustig Elements project because it gives back to the design and letterpress communities on so many levels,” said Gahlman.

Lustig-Elements-Beauty-of-letterpress2

All I know is I can’t wait to get the Lustig Elements Collection for the sample studio.

Do you love seeing projects come to life? Me too, that’s why I started Parse & Parcel – so I can help creatives find the right paper for their next passion project (among other things). If you like seeing inspiring print projects, you def want to check out The Parcel. Each month subscribers get a box filled with a mix of real jobs, paper promos and print samples, delivered right to your doorstep. How’s that for convenient?

Leave a Reply