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. me says:


  2. William Adams says:

    Thank you for doing this!

    This is an important scholarly resource and needs to not just be preserved, but made available to students and graphic designers (unfortunately my partial collection is hidden away in storage).


  3. Henk Gianotten says:

    This is great!
    I own a great number of the volumes but it’s difficult to search.
    I hope that the library of The University of Amsterdam UVA (Special Typographic Collection) will make them available and create a direct link to their collection of hard copy U&lc’s.
    I wonder why the scanner operators did not correct for the the paper color.

  4. Avi Wollman says:

    Thank you

  5. DMcCunney says:

    Bless you! I was a subscriber to U&lc back when, and still have a small pile of print issues I pull out and peruse on occasion. Making a complete run available as PDFs is a treasure. I used to wait with anticipation for the print issues to arrive. Now I can have similar pleasure awaiting the new month’s volume.

    Thank you for an incredible service to the graphic design and typography community.

  6. Patryk Les says:

    I’m really grateful to you for doing that.

  7. Morris Taub says:

    Love that you’ve done this…I have a few issues at home, but being able to go back and check out designs this way is wonderful. I used to work at Photolettering, Inc. and so did mechanical work on U&LC, as well as some headline letterspacing when schedules were tight and they needed last minute help. The good ‘ol days.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Absolutely awesome resource for someone just stepping onto the design scene.

  9. Patrick Myles says:

    I’m really impressed that you have done this. What a incredible archive to share with everyone!

  10. Marsha Granville says:

    This is wonderful news. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Dan Mather says:


    Many thanks. Thank you.

  12. Rahul Goswami says:

    What a wonderful first set. Thanks very much for making these available. I can almost smell what we used to call ‘rubber solution’ and the pasteboard. A lovely return to the golden years of lettercraft.

  13. […] View post:  U&lc back issues to be made available « blog […]

  14. […] of the back issues of the seminal typography are being put online for free, how kind m / 31-10-2010 10:35 — tags: […]

  15. barbara beeton says:

    how wonderful! brings back memories! thank you so much!

  16. 6'6" says:

    Thank you for this! It is a great design resource and making it publicly available is very generous.

  17. mariella barone says:

    Thank you for doing this!
    I was a sub­scriber to U&lc and still have same numbers I love vary much.

  18. Ronald steur says:

    it was always exiting to receive the U&lC and I missed it since.

  19. Rae Kaiser says:

    This is wonderful, thank you for doing this. I had YEARS of these magazines and got rid of them in some move. You are the best!

  20. James Nelson says:

    Awesome — thank you!

  21. Barb says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for doing this!

  22. Jan Heijnen says:

    Thank you! Wonderful to see these again.

  23. Edward J. Bebee says:

    Bless you.

    I have on my shelf some articles from U&lc that I saved. I’ve thought at times that I should scan them for easier storage (time has not been kind to the newsprint) but have never gotten around to it.

    This is awesome news.

  24. Fabrizio Scippa says:

    Thanks for sharing this timeless typography

  25. viqueen says:

    U&lc was the highlight of my mail; back in the day!

  26. Robert says:

    Keep up the good work! Thank you!

  27. jamese_aquent says:

    Amazing thank you so much for this
    working every day with young talent from the digital age it is wonderful to see the early days of the current era of graphic design and typography

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  29. Lynda says:

    Oh. My. God.

    Thank you SO much for this incredible resource! U&lc was a treasure in those days and now it can be again.

  30. Phil Raymond says:

    I was just talking to a friend last week about U&lc and how I loved getting my copy each quarter. I just downloaded the first 3 issues…Thank you so much for making these available. Brings back so many memories of my heroes … Herb Lubalin, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser … so many great designers back when design was truly a craft and not a typing exercise.


  31. Connie Crandall says:

    This is just wonderful! I always looked forward to my issue of U&lc back in my “typesetting” days in the print shop. Thank you so much for your efforts.

  32. Miguel Muelle says:

    When I was a student at Mass Art, I tried so hard to get my own subscription to U&lc, but tio no avail. I had access to them, to be sure, but there was a certain aura of mystery as to how one could actually receive one’s own copy! I tried sending them letters, expressing the absolute necessity, but to no avail.

    Thanks for putting these up. I will treasure them as I once did the fading newsprint issues I managed to get.

  33. Alex McKenna says:

    Lord, this brings back some memories! Mainly nice. I may be wrong, but wasn’t this the “golden age” of type? No longer hindered by the metal process, but yet to fall into the abyss of computer-designed ubiquitous dross.
    Lubalin had such fire in his belly when it came to typography.

  34. Maria says:

    Wow. Thank you so very much.

  35. Renato Gomes says:

    One of the greatest disasters I suffered was lose my U&LC collection, so this is a great, huge, sensational thing for me. Please make it in full! Thanks you very much!!!

  36. Jim says:

    This is the best thing ever. Thanks!

  37. claire says:

    This deserves a little tweet, superb idea.

  38. Michael, Ming-Chia Wang says:

    I own almost ‘each and every’ printed issues of U&Lc and ‘each and every’ font specimen ITC issued, but I still want to downlod ‘each and every’ digital version of U&Lc. Why? Because I presume U&Lc a ‘world heritage’ status ‚and it deserves the whole world (at least graphic/typogragraphic world)to preserve its legacy to the future generation. We all awe ITC a whole lot. And I do suggest the best way to pay back to ITC is to ‘BUY ITC FONTS!’ And I personally have to thank Allan Haley for his legendary contribution of spreading/cultivating typographic knowledge/literacy in the past decades and is still holding on with ITC. Keep fight Allan, and THANK YOU!!!

  39. Beverly Knowland says:


  40. Fred says:

    In response to “…If you love it, let us know,” I love it. Keep ‘em coming.

  41. Robin K says:

    I used to greedily look forward to each issue and read the entire thing! A feast for hard-core type lovers! Greatly appreciated!

  42. dell81 says:

    This is totally awesome!

  43. Jorge Möhring says:

    Fantastico! U&lc is a magazine that made me enjoy typography as student

  44. mike says:

    Way past due. Never anything better.

  45. morgan says:

    Why is the first section of the first issue the only one that shows the full pages with no cut-off? I tried to read the second and third section of the first issue and the left edge of the page is cut-off. What can I do to see the full issue?

  46. Jorge Reinaldo galindo says:

    Jolly types! What a great resource for us designers. This was my main source of ideas back in the 80’s while going through mu studies and as a graphic designer working for several publications. Now as a teacher I dusted off some back copies I had and showed to my students. Please scan ‘em all.

    Jorge Galindo

  47. Jane says:

    Thank you for this, and thank you for the free student subscription to U&lc I had when I was a graphic design student in the 1980s!

  48. Mark Rogan says:

    I wish I had saved my issues all those years. Herb Lubalin had such a huge influence on me and my work.
    Thanks so much for doing this!

  49. David Miller says:

    Thank you so much for making this archive available! As others have already mentioned in eloquent fashion, U&lc was (and still is) a treasure and it is great to be able to walk down Memory Lane to enjoy these issues once again.

    I managed to get a U&lc subscription back in the day, but it wasn’t until the late 70s or early 80s that I managed it. Very few of those issues are left now.…and the ones that have survived are fading and fragile. So, it is with great happiness and anticipation that I await these PDF volumes that you are producing! Please keep it going until the entire set has been digitized! Thank you!!

    - David Miller

  50. Larry Will says:

    I was delighted to read about your endeavor. I have managed to keep almost the complete collection as I collect most of what I see as a treasure when it come to design. The U&lc publication for me was always the bible to type and design of the 70s and early 80s. Herb Lubalin was the sage producing beautiful typography. I also managed to collect all of the Avant Garde issues and the 4 volume set of Eros. Herb Lubalin was a genius with type. I am very excited and pleased to see someone transforming these treasures into PDF volumes for many to enjoy and also help be an educational conduit for future students. This is amazing to see it happen. Thank you.

    Larry Will

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