The Calligraphy Initiative

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery Reed College

Remembering Lloyd Reynolds who died on October 4, 1978.

The following excerpt is from a remembrance by Oregon poet, print maker, essayist and teacher Kim Stafford.

"Lloyd Reynolds, the international citizen of Portland, spent his last days in pain, silent, unable to speak or to write, lying in his hospital bed. On his last day at home, as his wife scurried to pack his suitcase for the hospital, Lloyd made his way outside to the garden, and there she found him on his knees, with a spoon, awkwardly planting the flower bulbs. 

"Lloyd," she said, "you will never see these flowers bloom." 

He smiled at her. “They are not for me,” he said, “they are for you.”

Lloyd Reynolds practicing Arabic calligraphy in a photograph from the 1968 Reed College Griffin and a page of Arabic letters from his 1967 scribble book.
© Lloyd Reynolds Collection, Special Collections, Reed College library.

An early Weathergram by Lloyd Reynolds, c. 1970, not long after the word ‘biodegradable’ had entered the English lexicon. A gift to Reed College from Jaki Svaren. © Lloyd Reynolds Collection, Special Collections, Reed College Library.
A page from Reynolds’ “scribble book” diaries. © Lloyd Reynolds Collection, Special Collections, Reed College library. Photo: Dan Kvitka.

"Why Handwriting Matters," by Phillip Hensher, The Observer, October 6, 2012

"Perhaps that is the way to get handwriting back into our lives – as something which is a pleasure, which is good for us, and which is human in ways not all communication systems manage to be. It will never again have the place in people’s lives that it had in 1850. But it should, like good food or the capacity to take a walk, have some place in our lives from which it is not going to be dislodged. I want to know what people are like from their handwriting – friends, intimates, acquaintances, strangers, and people I can never and will never meet. I want everyone to maintain an intimate and unique connection with words and ink and paper and the movement of hand and arm. I want people to write, not on special occasions, but daily."  

“Only the open hand of the open human being can grow the living tree that should be our present and our future.”

—   Lloyd J. Reynolds
A beautiful page of thoughts by Reynolds from the tumblr of Allison Tepper ‘11.

A beautiful page of thoughts by Reynolds from the tumblr of Allison Tepper ‘11.

(via alletea-deactivated20130212)

Typographic blocks cut by Lloyd Reynolds, dates unknown. © Reed College Art Collection, Gift of Phyllis Reynolds in honor of John Reynolds. 

How Handwriting Developed

A very interesting and comprehensive site charting the history of graphic design from cave painting to computer typography.

The Secrets of Page Harmony, Retinart.com

Excellent resource for studying the classical canons of harmonic page design, the site includes elegantly animated diagrams, including one of the Villard Canon, which Lloyd Reynolds taught with vigor!

This work by Lloyd Reynolds was part of the exhibition “Lloyd Reynolds, A Life of Forms in Art,” Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Spring 2011, curated by Gay Walker ‘69 and Stephanie Snyder ‘91.Calligraphy by Lloyd Reynolds: “The Dream of John Ball,” by William Morris. © Lloyd Reynolds Collection, Special Collections, Reed College Library. 
Lloyd Reynolds’ studio desk, ca. 1960. Photo: Lloyd Reynolds Collection, Special Collections, Reed College Library.


Reed College calligraphy instructor Robert J. Palladino [who taught at Reed from 1969 to 1984, and will be returning to teach at Scriptorium] speaks about calligraphy at Reed, and his relationships with Father Edward Catich (1906–1979) and Lloyd Reynolds (1904–1978). Palladino gave this talk, followed by an exquisite demonstration of italic letter forms on June 10, 2011, during Reed’s Centennial Reunions Celebration.

During the talk Palladino reflected:

"I saved a note that Lloyd wrote many years ago that sums up his idea of calligraphy: ‘Calligraphy is a striving toward pure spirit through total design, involving a rhythm expressive of both the meaning of the passage and the feeling of the calligrapher regarding the passage, but according to the meaning of the passage, not self-expression.’" 

"Reedies Find Solace in Calligraphy Revival," by Sasha Peters, Reed College Quest, October 5, 2012