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CCOG for ART 219C Spring 2023

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Course Number:
ART 219C
Course Title:
Hand Lettering: Hand Drawn Letters
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Investigates techniques and explores several styles of hand-drawn lettering as a vehicle for artistic expression through the use of hand written text. Develops a familiarity with creating and using a variety of scripts and tools. Establishes a familiarity with and an understanding of the components of scripts, with a focus on hand drawn (as opposed to hand written) lettering. Recommended: (RD 115 and WR 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Evaluate hand drawn lettering as a fine and graphic art using a basic vocabulary.
  •  Communicate in critical conversations about the aesthetics of hand drawn letters and the cultural, social, technological and historical contexts in which hand-drawn lettering was developed.
  • Solve aesthetic and material problems to create works of hand drawn lettering art that demonstrate a basic level of skill in hand drawn lettering using drawing and writing tools and techniques relating to standards and practices of hand lettering and drawing.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of Visual Arts is essential to the development of the individual and one’s meaningful participation in society. At the heart of artistic practice is the ability to organize experience and recognize its meaning. The creation of artwork and appreciation of aesthetics is a source of great pleasure and also a valuable means to effective visual communication. Participating in Visual Arts is an important way for individuals to connect to the past and respond to the present with a stronger sense of engagement with culture and society.

Course Activities and Design

  • Generate ideas/concepts with an awareness of the intended content of the work produced.
  • Explore multiple lettering styles and writing tools for drawing letterforms using hand lettering and drawing techniques (shading, volumetric illusion).
  • Develop a skill set centered on working towards basic technical proficiency in hand-drawn lettering using a variety of media, tools and lettering styles.
  • Utilize basic vocabulary specific to calligraphy and hand lettering when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  • Begin to assess and self-critique personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  • Begin to develop personal work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in hand-drawn and other related letterforms.
  • Explore direct somatic experience of typography to broaden understanding of lettering beyond computer technology.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Participate in, and contribute to, class discussions and studio work sessions.
  • Develop conceptual ideas relating to hand drawn lettering through the practice of creative research and preparatory sketches and finished works to explore the range of hand-drawn letterforms.
  • Write short paper(s) to address aspects of hand drawn letterforms in terms of content, history and development, self-assessment of work, self-reflection and critical responses.
  • The above are assessed on the basis of clarity of visual or written thought and ability to demonstrate basic understanding of how calligraphy within this tradition creates meaning.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Hand-drawn letterforms as drawing
  • Relationship of form to content


  • Design and visual layout
  •  Text and visual composition/comprehension


  • Relationship of tool choices to content
  • Personal expression and clarity
  • Exploration of letterforms using drawing techniques
  • Functions of different letterforms as content


  • Use of a variety of traditional and non-traditional lettering tools and techniques
  • Recognize and demonstrate well-formed letters
  • Create illusionistic volume in letterforms
  • Apply basic vocabulary for critical thinking and self-assessment
  • Discriminate between various writing styles and their application to content