Design Element and Principles: Phuc Tran


“Understanding Comics” Scott McCloud. page 112-113

John Lovett has mentioned principles that are always used to make a good design effectively. Artist may use these rules without even realize it as they are simply pleased the audience’s eyes naturally through out the history. The part that I want to point on in “Understand Comics” that use these principle are page 112 and 113.

In here he describe how do comic artists draw when they want to simulate movement. Firstly, most of the technique use lines to demonstrate the images of the object where it has moved through.Because the lines are not connected opposite to clear line of a solid and steady object. This create the effect that the object is moving really fast that we can see multiple of them at once. The lines in here is used effectively and we can see this in most of the comics nowadays.

The second principle that McCLoud uses is shape. McCloud or the main character in this book is seen in almost every pages as the narrator. Although his shape is far from a real human, it still remain the basic shape of a person that we can perceive him as a person. For instance, his proportion is not ideal, the glasses cover his eyes and every details is simplified in general. The shapes are used is good enough to tell us what is he doing, what is trying to show us or even his emotion through out the book.

Finally, value is also used in here and it even get more effective when the comic is in gray scale. In 112, there is a image that he runs leaving the shadow behind him. When the latest image is clear, the one behind is lighter and less dark. This demonstrates the light images are just the past so that they are blurry and light. In contrast to the car in 113. The scenery is dark and clear but the car is kinda gray to demonstrate the pedestrian point of view when the thing is moving fast for them is the car.

Overall, I believe McCloud use more than just the 3 principles I mentioned. The rules that John point out are universal that every great artists use if they want to tell the story more lively.

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