In the early 70s, I was in the waiting room of Modernage, one of the hundreds of photo duplication houses in New York. I was having some headshots printed. On the magazine table—mixed in with a hodgepodge paper coffee cups, ashtrays, and months-old issues of Popular Mechanics, Time, Better Homes & Gardens, Weekly Variety, American Angler, Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage—was a newsprint tabloid that I’d never seen before. It caught my eye.
It was U&lc.
The logo was a moniker, shorthand, for “Upper and lower case,” it was one of the first successful, long-term publications produced specifically for the design community. A product of International Typeface Corporation (ITC), U&lc was edited by graphic designer, Herb Lubalin—some say he was a visual genius, others say he was simply Avant Garde. It was published from 1970 until the fall of 1999.
The tabloid was a curious, visual treat. I tore out the page that contained the masthead, folded it, and put it in my pocket; when I got home I cut out the response coupon with my orange-handled Fiskar scissors, filled it out, wrote a check, put both in an envelope, addressed and stamped the envelope, walked to the end of the hall, and dropped it down the mail-shoot to the post box 17 floors below. (It took some effort to subscribe to a publication in those days.)
I was a fan of U&lc and read almost every issue, cover to cover, until cost-cutting at ITC in the mid-80s caused the publication to be reduced to an unimpressive 8.5 x 11 inches. With the move to a smaller size came a more conservative editorial view, a change in paper stock, and an introduction of some corporate-safe color choices.
U&lc had lost its immediacy, its cutting-edge approach, and the feeling that it was delivering relevant design news. The early U&lc was celebrated for its strength and dynamism, it was also a fragile platform. It cost a ton of money to produce and advertising didn’t come close to covering basic costs.
I’m hearing some promising buzz around a new quarterly publication called TYPE. Issue No. 1 published September 2017.
It’s billed as “A publication for people who love fonts—typography, calligraphy, lettering, sign painting—letterforms of all kinds.”
I’m going to give it a go. There’s a digital version and a print version. Here’s the skinny:
Sign up as a Charter Member and support the mission of TYPE: To provide an ongoing narrative for the type community.
- You will receive all the print issues in 2018—mailed to an address in the United States. (For addresses outside the U.S., see below.)
- Access to an exclusive digital facsimile edition.
- Invitations to TYPE events through the year. We’re planning talks, workshops, and exhibits at a variety of venues and conferences.
- Bonus: One free classified ad—to appear in print and online. Copy: 140 characters. Illustration: A square (SVG vector, or a JPG 500+ dpi). The post stays online for three months!
- If you sign up as a Charter Member and did not get a copy of TYPE No. 1, let us know by e-mail, and we’ll send it to you, at no extra charge.
TYPE Magazine is a non-profit organization, registered in Florida. Contributions are tax-deductible in the United States.