At the forefront of phototypesetting was the International Typeface Corporation (ITC), started by Herb Lubalin, Aaron Burns, and Edward Rondthaler in 1970, an ever-growing collection of expressive typeface designs aimed squarely at advertising agencies and the burgeoning graphic design profession. To promote. its typefaces, instead of simply advertising in trade publications or mailing type samplers, lTC introduced in 1973 U&lc (Upper & lowercase), a free tabloid magazine printed in one color, on newsprint, designed exclusively with lTC typefaces, and content developed solely for this quarterly publication. In its first eight years and until his death in 1981, Lubalin edited and designed the magazine, offering dramatic and energetic layouts that showcased ITC's products. Edward Gottschall, the editorial successor, maintained this formula until l990. With Margaret Richardson as editor, each issue was guest-designed by lucky designers given a free hand.
The amalgam of exuberant design and relevant content that combined work from designers, illustrators, and typographers with playful collections of ephemera and typographic experiments made U& Jc one of the most widely circulated and ogled design publications in the 1980s and 1990s. At its peak, the magazine's circulation reached 200,000, and it even came to include advertising from related businesses very much aware of its reach and influence.
In the mid-1990s, things started to change as the typeface industry was revolutionized by digital production and distribution- a new environment that ITC quickly embraced. With new editor John D. Berry, ITC launched U&lc Online in 1998, a companion to the magazine that was about to undergo a radical transformation. Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, the first issue of 1998 was redesigned as a glossy and measly (by comparison) letter-sized magazine, and the following issue introduced a new logo and layout designed by Mark van Bronkhorst that abruptly distanced itself from its original incarnation.
Need less to say, the change was not welcome. In the fall of 1999, U&lc published its last issue. Today, designers bold on to the brittleness of its newsprint heyday.
Palacio, Bryony Gomez, and Armin Vit. Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design. Rockport Publishers, 2011.