How To Design a Comic Book Cover

Comic books are one of the most read publications since they first came out. Today, some of the action heroes you see on film are based on popular comic book characters. Whether it is animation or live action, who can resist watching Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and the rest of the heroes and villains come alive on screen? Their stories are based on the serialized comic books that come out on a regular basis and have created a massive following. There is a distinct drawing style and typography used in comic book covers that make them too arresting and appealing against competition when they are displayed in newsstands and book shelves. If you are planning to publish your own comic book below are some tips on how to design your comic book cover.

  • Make a list of the design elements that will go on the cover of your comic book. There should be the title of your comic book or its logo, your name as the author of the comic book, the episode or series number, the name of the publisher, date of publication, the teaser image, the name of the artist and/or designer, colorist and inker, and the barcode.
  • Create a dummy cover and position the various elements in their proper places around your working space, which is only about seven inches by ten inches. In this limited space your logo or title should have a prominent and fixed space, usually at the top of the cover. Do not be afraid to move the elements around until you are satisfied with their arrangement. Do not forget the rules of visual design. Follow the way that the human eyes scan a cover – from the left, reading from left to right, down the middle and then moving to the bottom of the cover. The right side of the cover is a power area and this is usually where your biggest visual or image should be placed. Make sure that the image is facing inside rather than outside to lead the eyes to your logo and the rest of the elements on the cover. There should be none or minimal overlapping of elements.
  • The biggest element that will take up most of the space on your cover will be the teaser image. It can be a created pose of your comic book hero or an enlarged portion of one of the major scenes in the story. This should be one that provides a glimpse of what is inside and should be compelling enough to entice a client to buy.
  • Use colors that are attention-grabbers and consistent with the colors used in the inside pages. Logo type should be bold and easy to read, even from a distance. Remember that you are competing with other publications so make note of the other logo types used by others and use one that will make your logo stand out. Depending on your budget, you have the option to use primary colors or go for six-color printing that can give your cover more edge against competition.

Keep abreast of trends in comic book publishing. Study your competition and look at how the elements are arranged on the cover. Identify common elements that are essential inclusions in any comic book cover and make sure that these are present in yours. Make sure that you will have a consistent look from the first to the last issue of your comic book. These will be the identifiable trademarks that your readers will be looking for every time.


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