Panel layout is the design concept a comic artist utilizes to convey visual and written information. There is a wide variety how an artist may elect to communicate their ideas. The methods can range from a simple, straightforward panel layout direction to a complex/chaotic design. It can be used to convey a state of mind, an emotion, a concept, and/or an element of time. It is important for an artist to plan a clear panel layout transition for readers to clearly understand how to follow a story.
This four part series will be broken down by the following:
Let’s go over terminology definitions to make sure everyone can follow along with what is being discussed.
Panel– a panel is an individual frame or single drawing in a multiple-panel sequence comic book or strip.
Gutter-an empty space between comic panels.
Speech balloon– a speech balloon can also be referred to as a speech bubble, dialogue balloon, or word balloon. A speech balloon is a graphic to convey a message from a character either by speech or by thought.
Panel Layout-The culmination of techniques (panel size, shape, flow and speech balloons) an artist uses to produce a comic strip or comic page.
This concludes the panel layout introduction. Next time we will discuss panel size and how that can impact the pacing of a story.