1974 was the year of Watergate, an Oscar for Godfather Part II and the first issue of U&lc magazine. Now Monotype Imaging is making scans of 'the most important typographic publication of its time' available to download for free
U&lc (which stood for Upper & lower case) was published quarterly by the International Typeface Corporation until autumn 1999. Its 24-page first issue (front page shown above), under the art direction and editorship of Herb Lubalin, declared its intention to "provide a panoramic window, a showcase for the world of graphic arts – a clearing house for the international exchange of ideas and information". As well as, of course, publicising all the newest ITC typefaces.
Through its Fonts.com blog, Monotype Imaging is releasing PDF versions of the entire U&lc back catalogue, one volume per month. Anyone attending CR's Click conference last week would have received a CD with the first two on, but issues can also be downloaded here
The issues are a reminder of a vibrant time for typography and illustration. In the first issue, Lubalin discusses his own much-loved Avant Garde typeface
while George Lois selects some favourite work for the (to be) regular My Best With Letters feature
and Lubalin's partner Tom Carnase reflects on the revival in interest in Spencerian lettering – no doubt he would be amused to see how popular the style, as well as many others originally featured in U&lc in the early 70s, have become with modern day typographic illustrators. "Graphic designers today," he says, "are borrowing – or reviving – traditional forms with increasing frequency to create exciting graphic images." The same piece could easily be written today.
There are plenty of gems in those early issues, including this exchange between Lubalin and the great DDB art director Helmut Krone
Much of the work, though, is quirky and very much of its time, such as this series on the ampersand in history
while there is a surprising amount of sauciness on show (perhaps not surprising given that Lubalin was the art director of Ralph Ginsburg's Eros magazine)
Sometimes, though, 1974 seems a long time ago...
But familiar themes are also explored, such as the disappearance of painted advertising signs
and this student project – an alphabet of letterforms found in nature (how often have we seen that since?)
The ads too prove interesting, providing an insight into a lost world of phototypsetting and now-outmoded graphic trades
In this ad, Paul Rand even lends his illustrious name to an art supply firm
To download the issues, go here
Great post, thanks. Really like the Audi piece - particularly the Helmut Krone "Type is like a disease with me" quote, and the "Sky blue and boot black" line. But, more importantly, where can I get me a Comp/Set 500?
That Rand poster looks like it 'inspired' a young peter saviile?
wow beautiful work here, love it - thank you!
all of the typefaces are great and the colour of the paper is so retro.
Beautiful...ahh the fun I had drawing cubed 3d lettering as a kid!
Love it all, especially the old painted advertising piece
Brilliant - love to see Herb Lubalin's work, such a master of typo and layout.
And for those who'd like a book of the magazine alongside the CDs, Mark Batty publishers in NYC made a good selection - though mine's pretty dog-eared now.
This is terrific stuff, and for something that seems so recent, so historical too. Seriously, when did we start calling what these articles refer to as lettering, letters, letter-forms, 'type'? Only using metal type myself, I never noticed when that happenned!
Such wonderful magazines, I have a stack of these from the 80s and 90s, they do make for wonderful reading. About time they were made available again
Reminds me of my days at college studying design!
Very nice. But that capital R in Avant Garde just makes me feel ill whenever I look at it...
Thanks for these wonderful pages. It's great to see them again.
It was interesting to see the ad for the CompSet500 because that's where I started working with code to produce beautiful pages as galley proofs.
Guess what I do now? I work with code to produce beautiful pages as internet documents!
About as weird as it gets.
Is there some way I can buy actual back issues? I would love to have the paper mags, I understand they were quite large.
|Are students getting their money's worth? (25)|
|Virgin Records celebrates 40 years of disruption (1)|
|Station symbols a secret delight (6)|
|Unit 9's lifesaving app (1)|
|Enzo of the Antarctic (4)|
|The billboard turning thin air into water|
|Step into my cardboard office...|
|Image Duplicator: pop art's comic debt|
|Paul Arden: a true maverick|
|Get your dancing shoes on - courtesy of Puma|