The book Graphic Design the New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips says it best, “layers are simultaneous, overlapping components of an image or sequence.” I think layers need to occur to make art or design interesting. If we see a static image with a simple contrast of black and white. One of the two colors were still a layer on top of the other. That being the most simplistic example. I enjoy how the book related to the layers panel in Adobe Photoshop. Creating layers to an image creates interest and we can play around with how much we see or don’t see of a layer. Layers can also impact we see the shape or color of an object. If the image is less opacity than we might see the layered image change the intersecting parts and change the color and shape of the first image.
Linda Barry uses layers a ton in her graphic novel “What It Is.” I particularly loved page 109 in this book. The first layer is on a yellow legal pad, then she decorates it with layers of color draw in by hand. Adding further cut and pasted layers of an envelope, scrap paper, cut outs from books, and others. By adding physical elements to her base layer, it adds an interesting look and texture to the page. Also, I wanted to mention the typographic layer Barry added to her entire book. She uses a verity of fonts, cut outs, and writing utensils (pens, pencils, markers, etc.) to create this layer of text. The text isn’t always in a line or even horizontal! This temporal typographic layer is used so well that it is hard to look away from! It creates such a unique experience for reader that I feel as though I cannot read the page the same way twice. This enhances my interest in the choices this designer made and my enjoyment of the book.