octavo 88.5 editorial — written by s.j. with input from mark holt,
   hamish muir and michael burke.
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lower-case letterforms, when used exclusively, have in the past had undertones of a rationalist, pioneering and even revolutionary nature; there is a sense of existing standards being questioned, of arguably anachronistic modes of communication being challenged. the lower-case theme of this issue may initially seem somewhat esoteric, but in many ways it is a microcosm of a larger debate, one which raises pertinent questions about the potential of design to be part of a force for positive social change, rather than merely a grinning, compliant service industry. it seems unlikely that all lower-case usage will ever gain universal acceptance; the sense of authority and stability commonly perceived in capital letters is a deep-rooted convention.
but the ideal behind the use of all lower-case — the goal of a uniform single-alphabet system — is a significant one, worthy of scrutiny. in order to make the whole discussion more tangible and alive, we have asked each of our contributing authors to determine the way in which their articles are set, either entirely in lower-case, or in conventional upper and lower-case, according to their thoughts on
the subject.