U&lc Back Issues to be Made Available

by Allan Haley

Richard Nixon became embroiled in the Watergate scandal in 1974, which caused him to become the only U.S. President to resign the office. In that same year the first handheld cellular phone call was made, “The Godfather, Part II” won best movie of the year at the Academy Awards, and Secretariat became the first horse in over 25 years to win U.S. horseracing’s triple crown.

ITC also began publishing U&lc, The International Journal of Typographics in 1974. Herb Lubalin was the editorial and art director of the first issue and his seminal design set the stage for future issues of trend setting and award winning editorial creations.

The modest 24-page first issue declared, “U&lc will provide a panoramic window, a showcase for the world of graphic arts – a clearing house for the international exchange of ideas and information.”

And, indeed, it did.

Over the 26 years that it was published, U&lc gathered a following of thousands of avid readers that eagerly anticipated each issue. It became the most important typographic publication of its time.

While a couple of years lacked a full complement, U&lc was published quarterly, in its – large format – tabloid size, until the fall of 1999. Early publications were limited to black and white, and color was introduced in 1988.

Even though U&lc ceased publication over 10 years ago, we continue to receive weekly requests for back issues and reprints of specific articles. Unfortunately, because we have a limited supply of the hardcopy issues, we have been unable to fulfill these requests.

Thanks to technology, this has changed. Over this summer, we had a complete set of the publication scanned as high and low resolution files. Today, we are happy to announce that we will be making these scans available as downloadable Adobe® Acrobat® PDF documents – and the files will be searchable.

Every month, we will make one volume (a year’s worth of publications) available through the blog. There are, however, a couple of caveats. First, the files are big – as in “way big.” The low-resolution files can be as big as 18 MB and the high-resolution files are downright huge at over 85 MB in some cases. Second, they are not perfect. The original documents were sometimes faded, cracked or torn. That combined with a semi-automated scanning process (over 9,000 pages scaned) resulted in some unavoidable “character” traits. The final caveat is that the above plan could change depending on audience interest level (or lack thereof). So, if you love it, let us know.

Click below the links below, and you will be rewarded with the first volume of U&lc. Enjoy.

Low Resolution:

Volume 1–1 (Low Res).pdf (5.1 MB)

Volume 1–2 (Low Res).pdf (10.2 MB)

Volume 1–3 (Low Res).pdf (10.3 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 1–1.pdf (21.4 MB)

Volume 1–2.pdf (42.7 MB)

Volume 1–3.pdf (46.1 MB)

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.



133 Responses to “U&lc Back Issues to be Made Available”

  1. Christopher Cunliffe says:

    Nice people! Even the cat approves.

  2. Bert Johnson says:

    Thank you for capturing this valuable material. I enjoyed the originals and still have a few copies here in the office. Look forward to getting them all.

  3. Jim Hinds says:

    Thank you — thank you — thank you. U&lc, that started my junior year of art school, was the influence that opened my eyes to fact that graphic design could be art, and was a career worth pursuing. 36 years later I still find inspiration in these pages.

  4. Ole says:

    It is not that easy to scan that format I guess… But very nice you do it anyway. ;)

  5. ric says:

    Interesting period the 1970s, as photosetting technology took over, prompting questions about quality and productivity.

    In issue 1 there’s an article bemoaning the ease with which photography can be used by pirates to rip off designs and the problem of copyright, yet in issue 2 (page 39) there’s also a full page ad for all sorts of “exclusive” fancilful adaptations of Helvetica (and others).

    Great stuff – keep ‘em coming.

  6. geert schriever says:

    ohohoh, did I really throw these diamonds away once? How stupid!

  7. Ellen says:


  8. CentralParkTarzan says:

    Delayed education for today’s Typographic Butchers!!!

  9. […] be making these scans available as down-loadable, searchable PDF files—you can access Volume 1 here, and the plan is to make another volume (a year’s worth of the publication) available every […]

  10. pat taylor says:

    I have all the issues/ Still fresh today.

  11. Cornelis says:

    Thank you. Welcome back to one of my favorite publications of all time.

  12. […] resolution copies of U&lc, the legendary typography publication, are now available for download. Apparently, the folks at couldn’t resist the urge to create some high-resolution […]

  13. Scott Dutton says:

    U&lc is one of the great graphic design publications, and Herb Lubalin is a particular favourite. When I went back to art school to finish my degree 20 years late, I did a mini magazine on him and reconnected with why I’m a designer. Started off the best year of my life.

    I’ll be downloading, reading and archiving all you choose to share. Thanks heaps.

  14. Pete says:

    Esta publicación es importantísima para los que disfrutan de la tipografía.

  15. Lucinda says:

    Thank you!

  16. Doug Griffin says:

    WOW! This is so cool! I looked forward to each and every issue in college! One our “bible” it was. Ihis is just awesome, I’ll have to dig up my old issues. Look forward to more. I wish Herb was here to see it. Thanks

  17. Jan Dregalla says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to digitized these for all designers to see, some of us again and some for the first time. I looked forward to each issue… it opened my eyes to type as art and design.
    Hopefully, it will do it again for those that have cut their teeth on the internet and been exposed to overwhelming limited design due to web limitations. Glad to the web growing up too.

  18. Bono Mitchell says:

    This will be a fantastic re-run…Thanks!

  19. Sharon Dwyer Bolton says:

    Thank you! Count me in for more… I can’t believe I threw these out!!!

  20. Eduardo Gómez says:

    how i enjoyed reading, and looking at, U&lc. Gracias please keep on mailing then thanks again

  21. Naomi says:

    Thanks, these are awesome!

  22. Kristina Hudson says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time and making the effort to scan this invaluable resource. I cut my graphic design teeth with this magazine in the mid-80’s. I’ve never seen the earlier issues and I can’t wait to start perusing them! (Thanks for the link, Doug!)

  23. julie says:

    i feel so old

  24. Victor says:

    Great idea. Thank you!

  25. […] scans, downloadable here. Click on the thumbnails to view full […]

  26. Nick van Vliet says:

    What a brillant idea. Somebody just had to do it. All graphic designers will be grateful.

  27. Bill Berry says:

    Brings back fond memories of the VGC PhotoTypositor (Model K) and the Mergenthaler Linotype VIP and 202-N&W. AM VariComp/VariType terminals & paper tape punches. The programs were on blue Mylar tape and jobs on yellow paper tape right?

  28. sebasaristi says:

    Excelent treasure!!!I guess every designer would love them as much as I do!!! THANX THANX THANX!!!!!

  29. Tom Browne says:

    Seeing these again makes me feel young. Thanks.

  30. […] The archives of U&lc, The International Journal of Typographics, are making their way online. Launched in 1973, U&lc (short for Upper and lowercase) was a leading voice in graphic design for 26 years. Now the wise types at are posting free scans of every volume. […]

  31. […] My yellowed  back issues are long gone but thanks to they have now been scanned and are available for all of you to enjoy free of charge. Check here. […]

  32. Salil says:

    What else do I need???????

Great type makes sites stand out