Trappist monk's calligraphy inspired Apple

Posted by Siobhan O'Neill Meluso
Tuesday 15, March 2016 | Category:   Catholic culture,Prayer and Spirituality,Clergy
Rev Robert Palladino calligrapher
"It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating," shared Steve Jobs on learning calligraphy from former Trappist, Father Robert Palladino.

According to The New York Times, Father Robert Palladino, former Trappist monk and world-renowned master calligrapher, died on Feb. 26 at age 83 in Sandy, Oregon. Palladino is credited with influencing the onscreen fonts and overall physical design of the Apple computers that Steve Jobs would create after auditing Palladino's calligraphy class at Reed College in 1972, four years before founding the company. 

Palladino's vocation to religious life began in 1950 at age 17 when he joined the Trappist order in Pecos, New Mexico, where he first received his calligraphic training, in silence, and later became the principal scribe in 1955. When the monastery moved to the Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1958, Palladino was ordained a priest. However, the reforms of Vatican II led him to leave the monastery in 1968 and settle in Portland where he joined Reed College a year later and was able to continue his advance study in calligraphy. Ironically Palladino never used an Apple computer.

Learn more about Palladino's career and return to religious life as a diocesan priest in Portland here as well as the life of Trappists here

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