Charles Bigelow was professor of digital typography at Stanford University for thirteen years, where he taught type design, typography, and the history and theory of writing. He previously taught typography at the Rhode Island School of Design and other schools. He is a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellow and a recipient of the Frederic W. Goudy Award in Typography from Rochester Institute of Technology.
He has been chairman of the Committee on Letterform Research and Education of the Association Typographique Internationale, an Associate Editor of Fine Print, a review for the arts of the book, and a guest editor of Visible Language.
His essays on typography have been praised for their originality, clarity, and diversity, ranging from the evolution of modern typefaces to the typographic semiology of French perfume packaging, and from the psychology of typographic perception to the science of computer typography.
"Digital Typography", his pioneering review of the aesthetics and technology of computer typography (co-authored with Donald Day) appeared in Scientific American, with letterform illustrations by Kris Holmes.
He holds a B.A. from Reed College where he majored in anthropology and studied calligraphy and the history of writing with Lloyd Reynolds.
He later studied typography with Jack Stauffacher at the San Francisco Art Institute and with Hermann Zapf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
He has a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles.
With Kris Holmes, Charles Bigelow co-designed the Lucida extended family of typefaces. These include the Lucida fonts in Sun Microsystems' Java environment and Solaris OS, the Lucida Sans and Lucida Console fonts in Microsoft Windows, and the Lucida Grande fonts in Macintosh OS X.
He has been a typographic consultant for Apple, Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Adobe, R. R. Donnelley, Scientific American, and other firms.
He is a native of Michigan, where he attended Cranbrook school and received a National Council of Teachers of English award and the Detroit News Scholastic Writing Award Grand Prize.