Introduction to Italic Calligraphy

A course by Belén La Rivera
Graphic designer and typographer. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined May 2014
, Graphic designer and typographer

Learn to express in italic letters by exploring shapes and variations

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (79)
  • 1336 students
Introduction to Italic Calligraphy

Learn to express in italic letters by exploring shapes and variations

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (79)
  • 1336 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 21 Lessons (4h 13m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

The word italic comes from the Latin curro , which means running, because it is the writing that was obtained by writing with some agility. In theory, the round calligraphic letters were made in more detail, although paradoxically, some of the most elaborate letters (which therefore required more care and attention), are the inclined ones. The designer and typographer Belén La Rivera, is a specialist in calligraphy, a discipline that has helped her not only to gain agility in her strokes but also to bring personality to her lyrics and fill her messages with expressiveness.

In this course, Belén will show you the structure of the italic or chancellors letters, both in its formal and italic versions, so that you later experience different variations within the style.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introducción
  • U2
    U2. Modo preparación: conceptos básicos
  • U3
    U3. Let's know the italics
  • U4
    U4. Mi afiche caligráfico
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

You will start the course knowing more about Belén. She will explain how her career started with typography and how it influenced her work as a designer. It will also show you her influences and everything that inspires her to create.

You will briefly review the history of italics, making an introduction to the calligraphic terms that you will use throughout the course. You will also discover each of the materials and tools you will use.

You will see the structure of the letters of the alphabet (lowercase and uppercase), then play with variations. Belén will show you a series of exercises so that you gradually feel more comfortable when using them.

You will start by delving into the lower case letters, then go with the capital letters, which follow a different logic, being grouped by shapes. You will see those that have vertical, diagonal and those that have curved strokes.

Next, you will see 3 variables in the lowercase italics for you to explore and find your style. As for the capital letters, Belén will give you the keys to experiment with them, and that they look perfect in the few occasions to be applied in the texts.

You will see some examples made with the pen, of how the variables help to emphasize certain emotional narratives in concrete phrases.

Then, you will start creating your own composition with a phrase. To do this, you will make a sketch, cutting and pasting words on a poster. Belén will give you the keys to the diagram and compose your composition.

When you have your sketch, you will see how to prepare the grid on the final paper. You will write your final calligraphic piece, welcoming spontaneous details, either in the stroke or with the ink, play and have fun!

Once you have your calligraphic poster, you will learn to prepare it for framing or for gifts. Also, you will see how to digitize and retouch your piece to be able to realize its full potential.

What is this course's project?

You will develop the design of a poster with a meaningful phrase for you, taking advantage of the versatility of the calligraphic style with italics.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

To curious people who, although they have no knowledge about calligraphy, want to learn, and those who on the contrary have notions, but want to review the calligraphic bases of this style.

What you need

No knowledge of calligraphy is required, you can learn the basics in the course.

As for the materials, you will need a cut pen (either rechargeable Parallel Pen or pen and fountain pen), white paper for double-letter or A3 size and thick quality paper for the final poster. Also, you will need a soft pencil, a ruler, a square, scissors and masking tape.


1336 Students
79 Reviews
99% Positive ratings

Belén La Rivera

A course by Belén La Rivera

Graphic designer and typographer

Belén La Rivera is a Chilean graphic designer, lover of good music and hand-drawn letters.

She has been specializing in typography applied to branding for 5 years, and 4 years in calligraphy. She has worked in agencies in Chile and New York using the written word as a communication engine to express a message.

She has collaborated with the Department of Typographic Studies DET UC and Deutsch Inc NY. Her work has been exhibited at the Type Directors Club, Society of Scribes, and at the Biennial of Latin Types. Publisher of the book: El Diseño que pasa inadvertido.


  • U1


    • Presentación
    • Influencias
    • ¿Qué haremos en este curso?
  • U2

    Modo preparación: conceptos básicos

    • Un poco de historia
    • Conceptos caligráficos y tipográficos
    • Presentación de las herramientas
  • U3

    Let's know the italics

    • Cómo hacer guías caligráficas
    • Familiarización con las herramientas
    • Construcción de minúsculas I (primera parte)
    • Construcción de minúsculas I (segunda parte)
    • Construcción de minúsculas II
    • Mayúsculas con pluma (primera parte)
    • Mayúsculas con pluma (segunda parte parte)
    • Exploremos las itálicas
    • Juguemos con las mayúsculas (primera parte)
    • Juguemos con las mayúsculas (segunda parte)
  • U4

    Mi afiche caligráfico

    • Selección de frase y su concepto gráfico
    • Bocetos para la composición de la frase
    • Preparación del papel y las herramientas para la pieza final
    • Desarrollo de la pieza final
    • Digitalización, Retoque y paso a otros formato
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Introducción a la caligrafía itálica

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  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Introduction to Italic Calligraphy. A Calligraphy, and Typography course by Belén La Rivera

Introduction to Italic Calligraphy

A course by Belén La Rivera
Graphic designer and typographer. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined May 2014
  • 99% Positive reviews (79)
  • 1336 students