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Writing With Pictures: Step 6 - Lettering

Written by Nick Kremer
July 11, 2012

Step 6: Lettering

            Adding text to a sequential art narrative is as much a science as it is an art.  There are formal rules for visual design and layout of text features (for example, external dialogue must be placed in a “balloon” while internal dialogue occurs in a “cloud”, and the placement of text features is read left to right, top to bottom on the page, conveying a sense of passing time within a single static image).  However, aesthetics also come into play; the style and size of font, the use of bolding, italics, capitalization, etc. all contribute to the manner in which that text is read, helping to shape a reader’s perception of rhythm, tone, and auditory imagery.  The next podcast will briefly expose you to a few different approaches to lettering.

            INSTRUCTIONS: After watching the podcast, return to your visual narrative and draw in any narration boxes, voice bubbles, thought clouds, or sound effects needed to convey the textual elements of your composition.  Write in the text as you go, experimenting with various aesthetic approaches to the language.