matrix formation

lower case c - Chancery

lowercase c The lowercase "c" is a combination of two strokes as shown, below.

first stroke second stroke Rounded letter forms cross their guidelines.

Chancery specifications Chancery script slant

4½ pen widths high. Try for a 45° pen angle. Work from a letter slant of 10° from vertical.

Chancery letter spacing

Space adjacent letters with opposing curves close. Space adjacent letters with parallel ascending lines the furthest apart. Don't measure! Do it all from sight and a few horizontal guidelines.

Consider spacing both sides of a lower case 'c'. The adjacent letter to the right is a lower case 'l'. To the left is a lower case 'o'. Notice in the example the two opposing curves between the 'o' and the 'c' are spaced closely. On the right, the open end of a curve is spaced farther from its neighboring letter which is a straight line. The 'c' between the two adjacent letters appears centered even though it is not. Likewise, the 'l' between the 'c' and the other 'l' appears centered between it's neighbors even though it is not.

Chancery 'c' letter spacing

Two curves opposing one another on a line of letters have the least amount of space between them. The space between the open side of a curve and a straight line has a little more. Two letters with straight lines have the most space between them. Look for well spaced letters with your eye. Don't measure! Calligraphy is an art form which visually adjusts negative spaces.


Fill a page of lined notebook paper with a combination of lower case letters 'c', 'o' and 'a', consistently using a convenient letter height for the size pen you choose for practice. I suggest forming letters 4½ pen widths high. Mark the horizontal reference rules 4½ pen widths apart to help keep the lines of practice letters straight and the letter height uniform.

Copyright 2001, Charles McGavren