How Comic Books Can Make You a Better Designer

Published by Inspired Mag
Republished in See What I Mean by Kevin Cheng – Rosenfeld Media


Long before I ever picked up a Wacom tablet or even heard the word kerning, I read comic books. I absorbed the artwork, page layouts and character designs like a nerdy little sponge. To this day I can’t figure out why comics are considered a low form of art. Pretentious designers pass it off as kid stuff, but they’re missing out on some valuable sources of inspiration.

While I was working as the assistant graphic designer at a large ecommerce company, I’m pretty sure I was the reason the Senior Graphic Designer had ulcers. It’s not that I intentionally set out to irritate her; it’s just that we didn’t always see eye to eye on design choices. She came from a web graphics/marketing background and I came from more of a self-taught/animation-school drop-out/good-at-BSing-my-way-through-life background. When she designed things she designed them with a strict level of symmetry and order. When I designed things I tried to never do the same thing twice.

On one occasion I handed in a mock-up of two adjacent promos, one with a close-up of a product, and one that was zoomed out. When she reviewed it she told me to make them both the same size.

Thinking that my design philosophy was incredibly clever I began to explain, “Well, I learned in storyboard class that no two panels in a comic should look the same…”

“This isn’t a comic book. It’s a website.”

I’m not sure where I went wrong. Somewhere between challenging her opinion and bringing up what she thought was childish nonsense I lost her attention.

I must have sounded crazy to her. And I probably sound crazy to you now…

Read the full article at Inspired Mag.