Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 220C
Course Title:
Calligraphy II - Carolingian and Uncial
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Reviews the calligraphic scripts studied in the ART 218 sequence and refines the forms. Covers complex layout and design issues. Develops intermediate to advanced techniques with the use of mixed media and working at a larger scale to develop personal aesthetic and vision. Includes creative problem-solving activities the professional calligrapher is likely to encounter on the job. ART 220A, ART 220B, and ART 220C may be taken in any order. Prerequisites: ART 218A, ART 218B and ART 218C, or instructor permission. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Use an intermediate to advanced understanding of calligraphy as a lens through which to observe hand lettering as a fine and graphic art.
  • Use in-depth level of critical evaluation, appreciation, assessment and respect for the art of handwritten letters encountered in fine and graphic arts.
  • Recognize differences between historical styles of the Carolingian and Uncial scripts, with an awareness of the social and historical context in which they were developed.
  • Create works of calligraphy that demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of skill in Carolingian and Uncial lettering and in lettering design.

Course Activities and Design

  1. Create single works that demonstrate the ability to use a variety of technical skills while remaining aware of the inherent characteristics of different calligraphic hands.
  2. Generate ideas/concepts with an awareness of the intended content of the work produced.
  3. Demonstrate technical proficiency in current skill set.
  4. Utilize the necessary vocabulary specific to calligraphy when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  5. Asses and self-critique personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  6. Develop a personal body of work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in calligraphy.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Participate in, and contribute to, class discussions and studio work sessions.
  • Develop conceptual ideas through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies (i.e., sketches, drafts, mock?ups, dummies).
  • Plan and create calligraphic pieces in response to a stated assignment.
  • Create an original work incorporating advanced calligraphy and present an oral presentation that includes a description of the process involved in making the work.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • The historical development of Roman Capitals (during the Roman Empire) and Humanist Bookhand (during the Renaissance) including the influence of both cultural and technological factors on the development of letter styles.
  • The historical development of the Latin Uncial script (400?600 AD), Carolingian script (800 AD), and Italic script (1450 AD), and their use in manuscripts from the Dark Ages through the early Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • Application, interpretation and redefinition of calligraphic ideas, drawing on historical and cultural contexts, while exploring personal expression and creative limits.
  • The role of 2D design in calligraphy, and letterforms' role in visual art and graphic design.
  • Demonstration and critical analysis of handwritten letterforms, considering legibility, harmony of form and technical skill in writing.
  • Art materials appropriate for calligraphy.
  • Techniques employed in the lettering arts, including stenciling, paper embossing, color media, etc.
  • The role of two?dimensional design concepts in calligraphy as they relate to fine art, graphic design and book design.
  • The value of craft in art?making.
  • Exploration of the relationship between form and content, and of how to synthesize idea and image using text and handwritten letters.
  • Discussion of typeface design, and its roots in and relationship to evolved historical letterforms studied in class.
  • Strategies for developing ideas.
  • Strategies for problem solving in page layout and composition.

Competencies and Skills:

  • Demonstrate skill in the use of broad?edged metal nibs, advanced materials and techniques. Could also include the use of a variety of lettering tools (brush, quill, ruling pen, reed pen, etc€¦).
  • Write several historic scripts and contemporary variations, which may include the following: Roman majuscules, Uncial, Italic, Humanist Bookhand, Carolingian, and Gothic Blackletter.
  • Recognize and appraise the evolution in letter shape and structure due to the influence of writing tools and culture.
  • Trace the development of the 26?letter Western alphabet during a particular period.
  • Apply vocabulary necessary to discuss the formal, conceptual, historic and technical aspects of calligraphy.
  • Examine the functions of different letterforms, currently as well as historically.
  • Discriminate between various writing styles.
  • Make technically proficient and creatively expressive works of calligraphy.
  • Transfer to a four?year college and continue a course of study in the field of fine art, graphic design or art history.