header
   

Original Lettering

Realty and Abstraction

"Our letterforms, as they have evolved for three millennia, are pure abstractions. Yet in ordered combinations, they may project with convincing reality the wisdom & folly of the ages. By hands both skilled and unsure, these innocent little non-entities are used to transmit the truth, deceit, tragedy, humor, pain and joy of humanity. Use them carefully! Beware of that which is perceived as literal fact. The genesis of great ideas is abstract theory."

--Charles Skaggs, 1975

Holiday Greeting 1944

Skaggs' Holiday Greetings
Here are two of the Skaggs’ calligraphic holiday greetings:

1944: printed and hand-colored broadside; 

1980: original lettering for printed card, with Skaggs’ notation about the printing, including the card trim size and green ink color.

Holiday Greeting Sketch

Latin Lark Fanciful Calligraphy

Shown here are two recent examples of Charles Skaggs’ lettering and use of stencils. “Latin Lark” is signed and dated April 2002; “Caprice Cantonese,” with invented Chinese characters, was completed in May of this year.

Caprice Cantonese
Proposed Designs For Type
Shown here are two proposed type designs by Skaggs, with his notes about them. The earliest is dated 1940, when Skaggs was only twenty-two years old. Neither or the designs was ever produced as metal type.

Failed Type Design

Proposed Type Design

Return to Skaggs Exhibition home | Next Case: Lettering Models (Oscar Ogg)

Terms of Use | Return to Top

   
  footer  
Need Help?  Ask a Librarian! Smith College Libraries Smith College Web Smith College Directory Smith College Moodle Course Management System Smith College Email Smith College BannerWeb system Smith College Libraries on Facebook Smith College Libraries Mobile Website Smith College Libraries Suggestion Box