U&lc lives

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

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

More from CR

Type Annual: Final (Final) Deadline

We have added a few days to the final entry deadline for the Type Annual, to help you get your submissions in. You now have until November 17 to submit. Please note, tardy types, this will be the absolute final deadline…

Epica 2010 grand prix winners

In a particularly strong year for the UK, Aardman Animations’ work for Nokia, M&C Saatchi’s campaign for Dixons, and Brothers & Sisters’ Streetmuseum app for the Museum of London scooped a grand prix at the recent Epica Awards, along with Fred & Farid Group Paris’s ‘red’ posters for Wrangler

Artworker

NAO (National Audit Office)