From the very first issue in 1973 to the current issue today, U&lc has always pushed forward in new directions.
This is the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of U&lc. It is also my first as editor, and the second in our new size and format. After a quarter of a century of leadership in the graphic-design field, U&lc is neither going to rest on its laurels nor going to lumber away into extinction like an aging dinosaur. Sometimes, in the fast-moving realm of typography and design, we all feel as though the giant meteor has plunged into our world, the skies are darkening with ash, and we just haven’t noticed our own irrelevance yet. But at ITC we intend to make sure that U&lc evolves into one of the small, fast-moving mammals who survive the climate change and thrive in the newer world.
The change in format, from tabloid pages to 8.5" x 11", which debuted with the last issue, was the first stage in this evolution. This issue, to mark the magazine’s 25th year, we’re adopting a new logo, designed by Mark van Bronkhorst. The original U&lc logo, with its huge swash ampersand, was designed by the magazine’s co-founder and first editor and art director, Herb Lubalin, and it appeared on the first issue in 1973. Although it was changed a few years ago, redrawn by Cynthia Hollandsworth and Ed Benguiat to update it subtly and almost imperceptibly, the logo has remained an essential and very recognizable part of U&lc all these years. Lubalin’s logo boldly reflected its times and established a visual identity for ITC’s magazine. Our new logo is more typographic and more flexible in its use, which reflects our times and our intentions for the future.
The next stage in our evolution will be the development over the next few months, of U&lc’s sister publication, U&lc Online, into an electronic publication in its own right. There’ll be plenty of overlap between the print magazine and the online magazine, but they won’t be identical: some things are best done with ink on paper, others are best done on screen.
The line-up of this issue will give you some idea of what’s in store in the future. Like the two-faced god Janus, we’re looking both backward and forward at the same time.
Steven Heller’s profile of Herb Lubalin shows us where we came from, and introduces Herb’s work to a new generation, who may know it--and him--mainly by reputation. The intelligent use of new technology, in the service of old goals, characterizes the publishing program of the new California company Octavo, which is making rare books available in a new form to a much wider audience.
Current practice is the focus of Joyce Rutter Kaye’s overview of how four hardcover books were re-designed for their rebirth as trade paperbacks, and the forces, both marketing and esthetic, that influence design decisions. Looking ahead, we asked Jon Wozencroft, co-founder with Neville Brody of the avant-garde digital type publication FUSE, to write about the ideas behind FUSE98: Beyond Typography, the typographic extravaganza this May in San Francisco.
We also address the pragmatic side of our craft with the first of a series of hands-on articles by Olav Martin Kvern, whose experience of the gritty underside of digital publishing is unsurpassed. He leads off with practical advice on controlling leading in QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, and Macromedia FreeHand.
Finally, in the back of the book we’re starting a regular feature that will look critically at typography and design in the world around us, starting with a book whose look breaks out of the conventions of its genre.
In future issues, we’ll be continuing to cover the practice of design and the impacts of technology, while adding critical reviews of some of the tools we use. U&lc is a magazine for ideas as well as reportage, where the words and the way they’re presented work together consistently but sometimes surprisingly. This small, fast-moving mammal may be tough to pin down. And it does have teeth.