New Directions Book Covers: “Flowers of Evil”; “Three Lives”; “The Wanderer”; “The Day of the Locust”; New Directions Modern Reader Book Cover: “Camino Real”; “Poems”

"In 1940, Lustig began designing for the publisher New Directions, where he produced a body of work that significantly influenced book cover design for decades to come. Rather than resorting to the conventional depiction of a scene or character from the story, Lustig employed a more symbolic, abstract language that, as he put it, 'could quickly summarize the spirit of each book…. Sometimes the symbols are quite obvious and taken from the subject itself. Others are more evasive, and attempt to characterize the emotional content of the book.' Despite this experimental approach, Lustig did not shy away from the commercial purpose of design, declaring that his aim was to 'catch the roving eye of the potential buyer.'"—Louise Sandhaus, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986, pp. 56