About Us - Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes


CHARLES BIGELOW has been a professor of typography at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Stanford University, Rhode Island School of Design, and other institutions. As professor of digital typography at Stanford in 1983, he organized the first international conference on the art and technology of digital fonts: "The Computer and the Hand in Type Design". As Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Distinguished Professor at RIT, he co-organized the 2010 international symposium on "The Future of Reading", and organized the 2012 "Reading Digital" international symposium on the science and art of reading on digital devices. He has been a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellows, and received the Frederic W. Goudy Award from RIT, and other honors. He was Associate Editor of Fine Print, a review for the arts of the book, a guest editor of the journal Visible Language, and President of the Committee on Letterform Research and Education of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). He has a B.A. in anthropology from Reed College, where he also studied calligraphy and graphic arts with Lloyd Reynolds. He studied typography with Jack Stauffacher at the San Francisco Art Institute, and also worked as Stauffacher's teaching assistant. He studied visual perception with Gerald Murch at Portland State University, and later studied type design and calligraphy with Hermann Zapf at RIT. He has a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Extension from Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to design and teaching, Bigelow has been recognized for his writings on typography, often co-authored. "Digital Typography", a pioneering review of the aesthetics and technology of computer typography (co-authored with Donald Day) appeared in Scientific American, August, 1983, with letterform illustrations by Kris Holmes. "The Design of a Unicode Font", with Kris Holmes, appeared in Electronic Publishing, September, 1993, discussing the first font to integrate Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Hebrew alphabets, plus extensive symbol sets. With psychophysicist Gordon E. Legge, he wrote the 2011 review article: "Does print size matter for reading? A review of findings from vision science and typography," in the open on-line journal, Journal of Vision. In the September 2013 issue of TUGboat, communications of the TeX Users Group, he wrote "Oh, oh, zero", about historical and modern confusion between numeral zero and letters O and o. The same issue includes a interview with Professor Bigelow by Yue Wang. With Kris Holmes, he co-designed the Lucida extended family of typefaces. He has been a typographic consultant for Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, R. R. Donnelley, Scientific American, Sun Microsystems. and other technology firms. The photo is Charles Bigelow with Swiss lettering teacher and type designer, Hans Meier, 1989.


KRIS HOLMES studied calligraphy with Robert Palladino and Lloyd Reynolds, Calligrapher Laureate of Oregon, at Reed College, where she studied roman brush writing in a workshop with Fr. Edward Catich, and studied modern dance with Judy Massee. In New York, she studied lettering with Ed Benguiat at the School of Visual Arts and modern dance at the Martha Graham and Alwin Nikolais schools. Later she studied calligraphy and type design with Hermann Zapf at Rochester Institute of Technology. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her MFA from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, specializing in Animation. Her calligraphy and lettering have appeared in Scientific American, Fine Print, and other magazines and journals. Her work has been exhibited at SIGGRAPH, Mills College, and Rhode Island School of Design, and is in the permanent collection of the Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany, and the Cary Graphic Arts Collection of Rochester Institute of Technology. Her lettering for signage has been used in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco and the Walter Lantz Animation Studio, UCLA. In 2012, she was honored with the Frederic W. Goudy Award in Typography from Rochester Institute of Technology, for her achievements in the lettering and typographic arts. Kris Holmes has created over 300 typefaces, including the scripts Isadora, Kolibri, Apple Chancery, and Apple Textile. With Charles Bigelow, she co-designed Apple Capitals and the TrueType versions of New York, Monaco, Geneva, and Chicago. Also with Bigelow, she co-designed the Lucida extended family of typefaces, which includes Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, and Devanagari scripts. In addition to their popularity in computer operating systems like Macintosh OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Plan 9 from Bell Labs, Lucida typefaces have been widely used for scientific and technical publishing in Scientific American, Notes of the American Mathematical Society, and other mathematical, technical and scholarly books. Also with Bigelow, Kris designed the Lucida Icons, Stars, and Arrows fonts, which Microsoft later purchased and reassembled into Wingdings fonts. Kris has taught lettering and type design as well as computer graphics courses at Portland State University, the Portland Museum Art School, Rhode Island School of Design, Santa Monica College, Otis College of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology, and University of the Arts. She has also taught type design tutorials for the Unicode Consortium and the Raster Imaging and Digital Typography conferences. As an animator, Kris is the creator of the prize-winning film, La Bloomba. The photo is Kris Holmes as a student of Hermann Zapf, 1979.


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