Design Elements and Principles: Ruby Pitts-Cranston

Scan of pages 118 and 119 of Scott McClouds Understanding Comics

I chose pages 118 and 119 of Scott McClouds Understanding Comics. These pages show line, shape, and contrast, three of the elements discussed by John Lovett in Design Overview. The entire spread is actually discussing how different types of line can convey different emotions, but it still has good examples of shape and contrast as well. The middle left panel on page 118 is a good example of contrast, as it is extremely dark but still has areas of white juxtaposed against the dark background. This specific panel is meant to represent anger, and visually this emotion is shown by the jaggedness of the white. It creates a fairly harsh feeling, and contrast is used very well to convey it. In Design Overview, Lovett discusses how our eyes are drawn to the areas with the highest contrast, however in an image like this, there is high contrast across the whole image, making it difficult and perhaps confusing for the viewer to focus on just one area. The bottom right panel on page 118 is a good example of an implied shape, caused by different values of shading to create what appears to be a dome. This panel is titled serenity, and this is represented by the faint and soft lines, there are no harsh outlines to the implied shape, giving the viewer a sense of peace when looking at the image. This shape is also fairly organic, giving a sense of something natural and not man made. The spread as a whole is discussing emotion and how different shapes and values can convey those emotions. This to me is very relevant to Design Overview, since the main purpose of both is to show how various design elements can cause different emotional responses in the viewer.

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