Looking into Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s in-depth research about design in various manifestations of comic books helped me see design in a whole new light. I’ve been taking art classes seriously since I’ve been in the sixth grade. There have been multiple discussions of aspects of design in our work and the world of art as a whole. I’ve used these principles in photography, digital art, graphic design, painting, drawing, film editing, flyers, posters, and the list goes on. Design is a huge part of what I do. Being able to apply these same skills in regard to the layout of comic books never crossed my mind but was quite exciting to see my previous knowledge applied in a way I never would have explored.
Not only does color grab one’s attention and create a more lively comic book, it can help with the transition of time/flashbacks, shifts in mood and other subliminal messages that help communicate the story.
Image and text placement also helps carry a story across the comic book pages. You need variation in marginal and box sizing to create interest from one page to the next. This keeps your reader from being bored. Text boxes also need to be deliberately placed. Not only does placement imply which character is speaking, but it can make a page more aesthetically pleasing if placed correctly.
Another part of design that is hard to capture is the ability to control movement. One way to do this is the eyesight of the characters in the panel. As you can see below, the way they’re all turned draws the reader to a certain point that’s off screen. The text in the shot also emphasized the commotion that’s going on in the background that will appear in the next panel.