Something that is no longer and is not yet: the advent of the computer and the digital from the pages of “Linea grafica” magazine, 1985-2000

This article looks at the reception of the computer and of the digital revolution in Italy through the pages of the specialised magazine Linea grafica from 1970 to 2000. The examination of the magazine highlights the appearance of thematic strands and issues, detecting exclusions and silences as well, with regard to the advent of the new technologies, and offers suggestions for further investigation. In particular, the analysis illuminates the emergence of a discourse within the magazine itself, that evolves from a consideration of the computer primarily as a tool to the acknowledgment of the radical qualitative change in the production and consumption of graphic design brought about by digital technologies, and of the digital environment as an immersive dimension and a metaphor for communication as such.

This article is only available in Italian.

Qualcosa che non c’è più e qualcosa che non c’è ancora: l’avvento del computer e del digitale nelle pagine di Linea grafica, 1970-2000

Visions in pursuit of the future: Technological change in U&lc magazine, 1973-1993

U&lc (Upper & lower case) magazine is generally associated with the expressive typographic experimentations of Herb Lubalin. It is also remembered as a showcase for the typefaces released by the International Typeface Corporation, which founded the magazine in 1973 to promote them. This article relies on the online archives of the magazine (which ceased publication in 1999) to investigate a lesser known, but not marginal, aspect of its history: its role in mediating the new photographic, electronic and digital technologies to an audience of graphic designers and art directors. The focus is not so much on the evolution of technology, or the development of systems and devices, but rather on the way in which the new technologies were described and adopted by the magazine, under the direction of Lubalin and later of Edward Gottschall. The analysis of the publication between 1973 and 1993 reveals a constant effort to keep up with the pace of the transformation underway, in both the editorial and advertising pages, responding to what was immediately perceived as a revolution with “visions” projected into the future, as is evident in the special issues Vision ’77 and Vision ’80. These visions, however, also testify to the effort involved in keeping up, the apprehension and disorientation caused by changes so rapid that it was difficult to keep abreast.

This article is only available in Italian.

Visioni alla rincorsa del futuro: il cambiamento tecnologico nella rivista U&lc, 1973-1983