Steven Skaggs


Steven Skaggs’s work has always focused on the intersection of verbal and visual signs. He notes that nowhere is that intersection more exposed than in the written and typographic word.

Calligrapher, typographer and design theorist, Steven studied for two summers with Hermann Zapf in Rochester in the 1980s. His calligraphy is in the permanent collections of the Klingspor Museum, the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, and the Sackner Archive of Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa. His first font for Delve Fonts, Rieven Uncial, was awarded a Certificate of Typographic Excellence in 2010 from the TDC. His font Maxular was originally designed to ease reading for people afflicted with macular degeneration and has been shown in clinical trials to be the most readable font in small sizes for people with that condition. His most recent design, the Loniki family of fonts and symbol sets, was inspired by a 5th century inscription in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Also active in scholarly circles in the field of semiotics (the study of signs and meaning) he’s the author of Logos: The Development of Visual Symbols (Crisp Publishing, 1994), FireSigns: A Semiotic Theory for Graphic Design (MIT Press, 2017), and most recently, The Hidden Factor: Mark and Gesture in Visual Art and Design (MIT Press, 2023).

Steven recently stepped down after forty years as head of the graphic design program at the University of Louisville.