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