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U&lc a legend in typography

One of the best things a designer can do is thumb through back issues of UPPER & LOWER CASE (U&lc). In the early 1970s I began subscribing, and to this day I can't really think of a single source of pure creativity that is quite as visually exciting as U&lc.

U&lc samples I have a stack of them right here in the bookshelf next to my desk, and another bookshelf full back in the studio. Although the pages are yellowed and tattered, (as you can see in the photo) opening any of the oversized pages can send you on a journey into some of the most superb uses of typography in our time. Over the years I've loaned them, given them away, and scattered them about the studio -- and I'm sure a great many are missing. But anytime I've wanted some visual inspiration I've picked up a copy and been revitalized.

U&lc began as an idea to market typefaces manufactured by the International Typeface Corporation (ITC). It was Herb Lubalin's idea to market through a low-cost, single color newsprint publication that could be given away to thousands of graphic design professionals and anyone else who would request a subscription. From the very first issue until its end in 1999, U&lc employed the brightest and most highly respected designers in the New York advertising scene to utilize ITC fonts in the most visually exciting designs possible. The list of contributors is by far too long to list here -- but any of the names would be instantly recognizable to anyone with any knowledge at all about the design industry. The publication literally embodies all the best of design for a quarter of a century.

I am saddened by the prospect that there are so many designers hitting the streets for the past several years who do not have access to this awesome well of design knowledge and inspiration. As I've told workshop attendees and students for years - "this is probably the most important single publication you can subscribe to for typography!"

ULC: Influencing design & typography

Publisher Mark Batty has done everyone in the visual communications industry a huge favor by bringing John D. Berry into the mission of preserving and purveying the best of U&lc. Now everyone can enjoy the same visual treat many old-timers in the design industry have dazzled over for years in this spectacular volume. Once you open this the book, you'll quickly see why my collection of U&lc issues is among my most prized posessions.

spreadUPPER & LOWER CASE (U&lc) was a defining voice in world graphic design between 1970 and 1999. It was in some ways a lifestyle magazine for the design community -- providing a fascinating intersection of popular culture and graphic design in the last quarter of the 20th century. The list of editorial contributors to U&lc is long and includes such icons as Seymore Chwast, Milton Glaser, Roger Black, Mo Lebowitz, Paul Davis, Ellen Shapiro, dozens of others along with the many hundreds of designers who contributed work for publication. Sometimes, prominent designers like Glaser or Davis would design entire issues into singularly cohesive works. All of the best work is showcased in this book through the reproduction of selected covers, stories and illustrations from the approximately 100 quarterly issues.

The book opens with an extensive overview of U&lc by Berry and moves on with chapters by Joyce Rutter Kay, Rhonda Rubinstein and Steven Heller - also noted names in the annals of typography. Their writings are informative, and reveal the excitement of the decade when graphic design came of age. The book also includes a complete listing of designers, and believe it or not, the complete table of contents of each issue.

U&lc: was a classic ephemeral publication: printed usually in black on newsprint. Now, you can enjoy and learn from the masters through the pages of U&lc: Influencing design & typography without having to dig through stacks of dusty tabloids. It's all in this beautifully designed and printed, oversized book.

ULC I am recommending today, that if you give a hoot about good design... about excellent typography -- and about the rich heritage of design born out of U&lc, you run to your nearest bookseller and buy U&Ic: Influencing Design & Typography. It's not just about typography. It's about the generation of graphic designers and typographers who forever changed the face of visual design as we know it today. You'll love this book from the first page -- and I firmly believe it will not only become an ongoing resource for visual inspiration -- but one of your most treasured books of all time.

Fred Showker
      Editor / Publisher: DT&G Magazine

John D. Berry

John BerryJohn D. Berry is the former editor and publisher of U&lc and of U&lc Online. He has a deep and eclectic background in both writing/editing and typography; he made a career for more than twenty years in Seattle as an editor and book designer before moving to New York in 1998 to take over U&lc. His first issue as editor was the magazine's 25th anniversary issue. After arriving at ITC, John developed U&lc Online as a separate but overlapping online magazine, with a series of columns, reviews, and event reports that did not appear in the printed U&lc.
      John is the editor of the book Language Culture Type: international type design in the age of Unicode (Graphis, 2002), and he has written extensively on typography for magazines such as Graphis, Print, Eye, and Adobe Magazine. He writes a regular column about type and design, dot-font, for He has done typographic consulting for several software companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, and Design Intelligence, and for five years he was the house book designer for Copper Canyon Press, winning several design awards.

Don't miss
click hereU&Ic: Influencing Design & Typography
by John Berry

Hardcover: 192 pages Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher (January 15, 2005); List Price: $55.00 - buy now: Price: $34.65 and You Save: $20.35 (37%)

See similar titles in the Type department Keywords: Typography: type, fonts, faces, how-to use type, selecting type, using fonts

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