Semantography (Blissymbolics)

This is a website based on the writings of Charles Bliss, inventor of Semantography, otherwise known as Blissymbolics.


I will include in the website anecdotes and photos and any related documents, but primarily it will focus on Charles' writings that may not otherwise be readily available.





Some Photos

Toronto, late 1970s

Toronto, late 1970s



2 Vicar Street, Coogee

2 Vicar Street, Coogee


Charles' bedroom, little bigger than a closet, and work area are at the front of the house, under the balcony. The bedroom is on the right.


Charles' bedroom had a small bed and a small desk. On the desk was a small (~12") television. His favourite entertainment was the Muppet Show.


Apart from its size, the thing that struck me was what he had hanging, in separate picture frames, on the wall above the head of his bed. One was a mounted Nazi armband. The other was an article from a German newspaper. It included a photograph of a line, two abreast, of concentration camp labourers carrying shovels. This line stretches off far into the distance.


When I first entered his room (actually stood at the door - there was not enough room for two people to be in the room at the same time) he saw me staring at these artifacts. Then he said the following:

  • "I never really escaped. Even now I wake up screaming and covered in sweat as in my dreams I relive those experiences." This was in 1980, 40 years after his release.
  • "Despite that, I keep these momentoes to remind me that, no matter how difficult life gets, nothing will be as bad as that."

An interesting observation of Charles' living space can be found on page 22 of Semantography Series 302, written by Mrs. B.A.C. Gibb: 'Since his wife died he has rented out all the rooms on the lower floor of his home as well as the top floor. His whole existance is in one room, where he works, eats and sleeps. He lives out of cans except when he goes out to eat, and to save washing up he eats straight from the pan he has cooked in. He has deprived himself of every luxury for the sake of his work, his guests and love of life itself.'



Entrance to the paper shed

Entrance to the paper shed



Interior shot of the paper shed

Interior shot of the paper shed





Interior shot of the paper shed

Interior shot of the paper shed