Design Elements and Principles: Ivy Padayao

Within Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics” you can see many similarities between what he is trying to express to his reader about design choices and what John Lovett is explaining in his design overview. Within Scott McCloud’s book you can see him portraying his design choices very effectively, but what stuck out to me most as a reader was pages 132 and 133. Within these pages the elements that really popped out were his use of lines, texture, and harmony.

Page 132 of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”

The use of line seems like one of the most “simple” elements to create as an artist, but it really sets the tone for the whole art piece. If it doesn’t flow just the right way it might throw the artwork off and make it harder for the viewer to comprehend. For example, on page 132 the second box down on the left , you can see how specific he meant to make the lines to look warped to the reader– a kinetic line. He used to the line to make it seem like the picture was moving or warping into something else, or in his textbook he describes it as a “psychological effect”.


The use of texture, to me, is what hooks me into a design or piece of art the most. The different values and lines interests me so much. Within page 133 of Scott McCloud’s book in the bottom 4 boxes of the page, Scott McCloud does a really great job at showing different kinds of textures and how they can effect the reader. While it may not be physical  texture since the work is in the book, the reader can imagine what each picture would “feel” like in the sense of drawing. For example, on the bottom right box of page 133, the reader can sense that the squiggly spiral drawing would feel a bit rough compared to if he had just drawn the spiral in a straight smooth line.

page 133 of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”

Harmony is also another element that is keen for the reader to feel while looking at a design. As an artist, you have to make sure your layout is even and doesn’t feel “uneven” or “weighted” more to one side than the other. Whether its by color (how John Lovett describes)  or the amount of objects on one side compared to the other. Within the 2 pages in Scott McCloud’s book (pages 132-133), you can definitely see the harmony he expresses within each individual boundary and between the two pages. For example, on page 132 he has a box with a lot of heavy black ink filling about 3/4 of the boundary, but on the other he has 2 boxes with pretty heavy black ink, seemingly evening out the “heaviness” of the black ink on each side. This creates a better flow for the viewer and makes it easier for their eyes to flow across the pages.

Pages 132 and 133 of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”


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