fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘aaron burns’

by Allan Haley

U&lc ceased print publication in the fall of 1999. Over its almost 27 years in hardcopy form, it inspired, informed and delighted readers. In the process, U&lc won over 100 awards for design and typographic excellence from the AIGA, Society of Publication Designers, Type Directors Club, and many other prestigious organizations.

U&lc’s tenure was marked by powerful – sometimes brash and always stirring – typographic design. The publication bristled with life and energy. The graphic design community – in addition to illustrators, photographers and calligraphers – eagerly anticipated each issue. However, even though U&lc was celebrated for its strength and dynamism, it was also fragile.

U&lc was dependent upon the understanding and financial support of someone who truly understood the value of the publication. Aaron Burns, one of the co-founders of ITC and the genius behind U&lc, was that person. Burns was also a savvy and gifted marketer. Decades before terms like “pragmatic marketing” and “buyer persona profiles” became popular, he understood that the best way to market a product or service was to reach out in an engaging and personal way to the ultimate consumers of those products and services. ITC licensed typeface designs to font providers – but Burns knew that his ultimate customers were graphic designers. Burns also knew that not all good marketing efforts can be directly linked to bottom line profits. At over one million dollars a year (in 1970s and 1980s money) U&lc was expensive to produce – and it’s advertising sales didn’t come close to paying for the publication. Burns, however, understood the true business value of U&lc and was fond of saying, “We don’t make money with U&lc – we make it because of U&lc.”

When Burns sold ITC in the late 1980s, its new owners presented themselves as smart business people. Maybe they were, but they were clueless about the value of U&lc. All they saw were its costs – and diligently sought to eliminate them. Over the next few years, this led to reducing the publication’s page count, then to downsizing from U&lc robust tabloid dimensions to a modest 8.5 X 11 inches, and ultimately to the cessation of publication.

U&lc was a vehicle to announce new ITC typefaces and showcase old ones, in addition to serving as a palette for virtuoso typography from the likes of Herb Lubalin, B. Martin Pedersen, Ellen Shapiro, Roger Black, Push Pin Studio, Pentagram and Why Not Associates, just to name a few. U&lc rejoiced in exceptional typographic design. Although there have been many attempts, no publication as been quite like it. To this day we continue to receive requests to provide back issues and re-publish particularly exceptional articles – which is why we scanned the issues we had, and undertook this series of blog posts.

Unfortunately, we do not have every issue of U&lc. We’re missing a couple. We are, however, getting those that are missing, and will add them to the PDFs we have already made available.

It has been a joy for me, these last couple of years, to walk down U&lc’s memory lane with you. I hope that you have enjoyed receiving the issues and reading the posts, as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.

The illustrations accompanying this post are the covers of the last big issue of U&lc and the first small one.

Click the PDFs below to find out what is in our remaining collection of U&lc issues.

Low Resolution:

Volume 24–1 (Low Res).pdf (6.6 MB)

Volume 24–2 (Low Res).pdf (19.5 MB)

Volume 24–4 (Low Res).pdf (4.7 MB)

Volume 25–1 (Low Res).pdf (5.0 MB)

Volume 25–3 (Low Res).pdf (5.6 MB)

Volume 25–4 (Low Res).pdf (6.1 MB)

Volume 26–2 (Low Res).pdf (5.6 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 24–1.pdf (34.5 MB)

Volume 24–2.pdf (96.4 MB)

Volume 24–4.pdf (19.2 MB)

Volume 25–1.pdf (18.3 MB)

Volume 25–3.pdf (21.5 MB)

Volume 25–4.pdf (25.6 MB)

Volume 26–2.pdf (23.3 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.

 


by Allan Haley

Aaron Burns passed away in 1991. In addition to being one of the founders of ITC, Burns was the heart, soul – and driving force behind the company. As I wrote in his memorial in U&lc, Volume Eighteen, Number Three, “Burns dedicated his career to the typographic arts. His ceaseless mission was to improve the quality of typographic communication and to provide graphic designers with a rich palette of typefaces from which to choose. ITC’s success was, in a large part, due to Aaron’s uncompromising dedication to excellence, his unerring sense of ethic, and his commitment to provide meaningful educational resource to the graphics community.”

Burn’s passing was a profound loss to all who had the good fortune to know him. This was especially true for those of us who worked at ITC. The company, however, continued to build upon his legacy and U&lc continued to publish articles that inspired and delighted graphic communicators.

While ITC had the well-earned reputation as the most successful type-marketing firm for many years, like all companies, it made missteps from-time-to time. Such was the announcement of a new brand in Volume Eighteen, Number One of U&lc. The brand was ITC Typographica, “a resource of typefaces intended for larger sizes …faces which have been created to attract attention, create a mood or make a statement” (basically, display typefaces). Four additions to the ITC Typographica series were announced in 1991, the ITC Mona Lisa Recut, ITC Studio Script, ITC Beesknees and ITC Anna designs. All are still in use today. And while ITC continued to add new designs to the ITC Typographica offering for some time – typefaces that would also become staples of display typography – the brand had a very short shelf life. What ITC forgot was that its typefaces and company name were the most important brands – and that another brand name was superfluous.

The ITC Mendoza Roman family was also announced in Volume Eighteen of U&lc, as were additions to the ITC Franklin Gothic and ITC Garamond families – the latter having an interesting backstory. In the mid 1980s, Apple adopted a digitally condensed version of ITC Garamond as its brand typeface. The face’s proportion fell somewhere between the regular weights of ITC Garamond and ITC Garamond Condensed. Like most digital distortions, however, it lacked the refinement of a typeface developed by a type designer or lettering artist. Apple used the typeface in all its advertising and corporate literature for several years before approaching ITC and Bitstream, the first digital type foundry, to develop a properly designed version of the face. This was to become ITC Garamond Narrow.

The “Felix The Cat” cover of U&lc Volume Eighteen Number Three, added more collectability to a publication that was already horded by graphic designers. It was printed as a series of three, each with the same “Felix” image, but with a different background color: florescent pink, orange and green. We’ve provided the pink cover in this series of PDFs. True collectors of U&lc have all three covers.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in U&lc Volume Eighteen.

Low Resolution:

Volume 18–1 (Low Res).pdf (10.2 MB)

Volume 18–2 (Low Res).pdf (temporarily unavailable)

Volume 18–3 (Low Res).pdf (11.2 MB)

Volume 18–4 (Low Res).pdf (13.2 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 18–1.pdf (52.7 MB)

Volume 18–2.pdf (temporarily unavailable)

Volume 18–3.pdf (56.5 MB)

Volume 18–4.pdf (62.4 MB)

Editorial footnote: At the time of (original) posting we do not have PDFs available for the second issue of volume 18. Don’t worry, we do have this issue in our archives and we plan on posting PDFs at a later date.

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.