CCOG for ART 220C Spring 2024

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

Course Description

Reviews the calligraphic scripts studied in the ART 218 sequence and refines the letterforms. Covers complex layout and design issues. Develops intermediate techniques to develop personal aesthetic and vision relating to Uncial and Carolingian calligraphy. Includes a focus on design issues found at the intermediate level. ART 220A, ART 220B, and ART 220C may be taken in any order. Recommended: (RD 115 and WR 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available. Prerequisites: ART 218C or instructor permission.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Use intermediate-level understanding of Carolingian and Uncial calligraphy as a lens through which to observe and critically evaluate hand lettering as a fine and graphic art.
  • Evaluate with deeper critical understanding the art of handwritten letters.
  • Communicate in critical conversations about the aesthetics of calligraphy and the cultural, social, technological and historical contexts in which the Carolingian and Uncial scripts were developed.
  • Solve aesthetic and material problems to create developed works of calligraphy that demonstrate an intermediate level of skill in the Carolingian and Uncial scripts using appropriate tools and techniques relating to standards and practices of calligraphy.
  • Discuss the formal, conceptual, historic and technical aspects of Carolingian and Uncial calligraphy using appropriate intermediate-level vocabulary.

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

  • Create developed works of calligraphy using Carolingian and Uncial letterforms with an awareness of the inherent characteristics of these forms.
  • Generate ideas/concepts with an awareness of the intended content of the work produced.
  • Develop an intermediate skill set centered on working towards technical proficiency in Carolingian and Uncial letterforms.
  • Utilize intermediate vocabulary specific to calligraphy when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  • Assess and self-critique personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  • Develop personal work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in Carolingian, Uncial, and other letterforms.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Develop conceptual ideas relating to Carolingian and Uncial letterforms through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies.
  • Create several original artworks demonstrating intermediate technical proficiency in Uncial and Carolingian calligraphy
  • The above are assessed on the basis of clarity of visual or written thought and ability to demonstrate intermediate understanding of how calligraphy within this tradition creates meaning.
  • Write short paper(s) on Carolingian and Uncial script addressing relationship of form to content, history and development, self-assessment of work, self-reflection and critical responses.
  • Participate in, and contribute to, class discussions and studio work sessions.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • The value of craft in art-making.
  • The relationship between idea and design using text and handwritten letters.


  • Two-dimensional design concepts as they relate to fine art, graphic design and book design.
  • Text and visual expression

  • Audience

  • Typeface design, and its roots in and relationship to historical development of the Latin Uncial script (400-600 AD) and Carolingian script (800 AD) and their use in manuscripts from the Dark Ages through the early Middle Ages and Renaissance


  • The influence of both cultural and technological factors on the development of hand written letterforms.
  •  Personal expression vs. tradition


  • Application of calligraphic ideas relating to Carolingian and Uncial scripts with awareness of historical and cultural contexts.
  • Critical analysis of Carolingian and Uncial letterforms using intermediate vocabulary. 
  • Intermediate technical skill in writing Carolingian and Uncial letterforms using appropriate materials and techniques.

  • Assemble an appropriately designed, well-crafted final project using Carolingian and/or Uncial calligraphy demonstrating an intermediate skill level.