The CoC Practice Project

For some time we have been keen to offer an interactive way for members and website visitors to learn about and brush up on the traditional “old school” calligraphic hands. 

Thanks to the joint brainpower of long-time members Sue Filbin and Diane von Arx, we have the framework for the CoC Practice Project.

What is the CoC Practice Project? And when is it?

#CoCPracticeProject is a participatory calligraphy challenge/project that changes every 14th and 28th of the month. Whether in person or online, we will have an opportunity to comment on each others’ work.

Why “old school”?

Traditional calligraphy is not the typical focus in the huge world of social media, where there is so much interest in calligraphy in general and a whole range of contemporary hand lettering styles.

And yet, when traditional calligraphy work is posted, the hearts and likes light up and “how can I learn to do that?” queries fill the comments. To help meet this need, and also to build on the enthusiasm our members showed for the Foundational hand at our October 2017 program presented by Kris MacDonald and Lori Tews, we’re going back to the basics.

How does the CoC Practice Project work? 

We will provide specifications and prompts (e.g. letter the alphabet, or a quote, or certain words, or whatever else we might cook up). Let us know your suggestions or ideas!

For the first few months, the specifications will seem rigid...because they are! That’s our intention because the focus is on letterforms. The specs will loosen up and become fewer over time, allowing for more interpretation and choices related to layout, etc.

Most importantly, the CoC Practice Project works when you gain new skills, refine old ones, and have FUN!

How can you participate?

Complete the challenges and share your work with the CoC Practice Project in any of these ways:

  1. People can join the challenges at any time (for example, three months from now someone could go back and do challenge #4). We want engagement any old time!
  2. Post an image of your finished project on the Colleagues of Calligraphy Facebook group page: “The CoC Practice Project.” Click to join the group and any member of that group will be able to approve your joining. Here is a link that explains it further. 
  3. If you are not on Facebook, submit your images for us to post on the Colleagues social media to Please send JPG files.
  4. We will also add your images to the bottom of each project post here on our website. Use the comment box at the bottom of each project to share your thoughts and enthusiasm with other participants. You can even ask for suggestions or input!
  5. Share them via your own Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Use the hashtag #CoCPracticeProject on your posts.
  6. Bring your work(s) in progress or final pieces to show and discuss with other members at a table we’ll set up at our monthly Colleagues meeting.

For now, we heartily encourage you to review the specs for the first lettering activity, get out your supplies, and become absorbed as you study and practice the Foundational Hand. The challenge is listed on the right.