The most known medieval calligraphy styles are the Carolingian, the Gothic, the Half-uncial and the Battarde scripts, all of them included among the Latin writing styles and influenced by the ancient Italic and Roman letterings.
Although during the Middle Ages the development of these calligraphy styles was slower, lots of dramatic changes affected the artistic life and manifestations and as a consequence, the art of beautiful writing as well, although in this field the influence was less significant.
Unlike painting or sculpture, the art of beautiful writing was more conservative as the existing scripts were used not only for decorative purposes but also for everyday conversations and writing projects, so they needed to be easily understood and written by a large number of people.
In these conditions, it's obvious that frequent changes in the structure of calligraphy styles weren't regarded as positive, because they affected the communication process, making it harder for people to understand what they read or to understand each other. And the more popular a script was, the less it was affected and the more it became entrenched.
Being given the high costs of the writing tools and materials during the Middle Ages, narrower letterings and scripts started to be preferred instead of rounder and wider ones. Also, as the paper was getting more and more qualitative, people started looking for more cursive hand written scripts as the new papers enabled them to write easier and quicker.
But together with the increased writing speed came the less organized appearance of medieval calligraphy scripts. While the old scripts took more space and required lots of time in order to be correctly executed, newer ones involved less money spent on parchment, vellum or papers and less time as the written structures were less strictly followed.
The Carolingian script, also called Caroline minuscule, was defined by uniform, rounder letters, clearly distinguishable and very legible. Capitals were only used for the first words in a phrase and the spacing between letters or words was regular and pretty narrow.
Although considered a cursive script, the Carolingian writing style had fewer ligatures than other lettering styles and some letters resembled those composing the Uncial script, with thicker ascenders and slightly slant descenders.
Another characteristic of this medieval calligraphy style was the flourished appearance, due to which the Carolingian script was widely used for decorative and ornamental projects. However, after the 9th century this writing style started to decline and during the 10th and 11th centuries, the basic shapes of the letters were simplified, stylized and turned into more angular ones.
This is how the Gothic or Blackletter writing style appeared. Characters in this script were more pointed, tighter and denser than letters in Caroline minuscule script. Although rarely used nowadays for everyday writing projects, the Gothic style is very common for invitations, diplomas, certificates and decorative posters.
Last, the Half-uncial script was mostly composed of uppercase letters and was largely used during the 18th century in France. Although medieval calligraphy style was not really derived from the old Uncial style, it was named like this due to the similarities between the two scripts.