Design Elements and Principles: Eddie Abellar

Page 47 from “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud.

One principle that is effective on page 47 of “Understanding Comics” is the principle of repetition with variation. The top and middle panels are repetitive because Scott McCloud is in the same position in each panel only there are a few changes in each panel that add a degree of variation. The added variations, whether it be the added texts, the added shapes, or the different contrasts make it so that every panel is interesting in their own way even though they are somewhat similar. The bottom panels are also good examples of repetition with variation. Again, Scott McCloud is positioned in the same place for each panel but the variation comes from his hand positions in each of the panels.

One element that is effective on this page is Scott McCloud’s use of lines, more specifically the alignment of his lines. Aside from the first panel in the middle row, every panel is aligned perfectly both horizontally and vertically. This alignment is effective because it produces a very clean aesthetic. The alignment on this page also helps the reader navigate the page with ease, informing the reader where to begin reading and where the reading ends.

Another principle that is effective on this page is the use of balance within the panels. The bottom row of panels is a great example of balance. In each of the bottom four panels, Scott McCloud is positioned at the bottom half of the panel, directly in the center. Above Scott McCloud are text bubbles positioned at the top half of the panels, also directly in the center. Scott McCloud and the text bubbles take up an even amount of space in each of the bottom row of panels creating an effective and pleasing aesthetic for the reader.

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