Calligraphy and illumination
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VE231
Choose a start date
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
You will study writing, design and illumination and learn how to choose and use basic materials. This course is suitable for complete beginners as well as for those with some experience. Left handers are welcome.
What will we cover?
- Beginners: an introduction to Foundational hand and Capitals. You will study the letterforms step-by-step, the structure of the letterforms, family groups and spacing, and you will write out the text in various sizes. You will also be introduced the use of basic materials.
- Improvers: once you have studied basics you will decide how to improve and expand your skills with consultation with the tutor. You can study other styles of writing such as Italic, Uncials with using historical materials.
- The course will also cover the basics of layout and design and simple gilding techniques.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Be confident in use of basic materials.
- Demonstrate basic Foundational hand, minuscules and Capitals.
- Produce a gilded letter/s
- Develop your ideas into effective layouts.
- Design and produce a finished piece or card.
For experienced students,
- Combine with different styles of writing or use variations
- Produce a piece with more developed idea and layout
- Design and produce illuminated letters with raised gilding technique.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for complete beginners to intermediate and advanced levels. The focus of the course is on good letterforms and effective layout/design with illumination. Each student will be able to work at their own pace and will be encouraged to produce a quality work rather than quantity.
Students should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information and will be invited to take part in informal group discussion.
course includes simple calculations and measurements. Basic IT skills would be helpful to be able to access google classroom and some online resources.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Group and individual demonstrations and one-to-one supported by discussions and visual references.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Some tools are available in the classroom however, you will need to buy your own materials such as papers, pens and inks/paints. Advice on buying equipment will be given by the tutor during the course.
On the first day you will need to bring:
- HB pencil and eraser
- 0.3mm automatic pencil
- A3 Layout pad
- Usual calligraphy materials if you have. If you don’t have any tools or materials, you don’t need to buy
Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services,
at 15% off.
To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a
student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a
scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already
discounted or on offer. More information can be found here- https://www.londongraphics.co.uk/student-
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other suitable courses in calligraphy and lettering include:
- VE231 or VE240 Calligraphy and illumination
- VE258 Calligraphy: modern copperplate
- VE290 Calligraphy class: illuminated lettering
- VE350 Calligraphy: modern copperplate
- VE285 Calligraphy for beginners and improvers.