RECOMMENDED – The DC Comics Guide To Coloring And Lettering Comics

The DC Comics Guide To Coloring And Lettering Comics

Last weekend I read The DC Comics Guide To Coloring And Lettering Comics (by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein)cover to cover and I just wanted to say that it is the exact type of book that I would have loved when I was a kid. There are a couple more about writing, pencilling and inking in the series and I’m definitely going to check them out.

When I was starting this project out I do some research into “How Comics Are Made”. Now I work as a graphic designer and I’ve designed a lot of print materials over my 10 years doing this professionally. So I had a pretty good idea of “how to make a book that would print ok” but at the same time, I was curious about how the “Comics Professionals” do it both because my professional curiosity genuinely wanted to know and because if I wanted to work in the actual medium and be taken seriously, I thought it was best to do it correctly from the start.

Anyway, I just found these books – three years late. So I thought it was definitely worthwhile to put up a quick post to let people who are just starting out (like I was a short while ago) that these are definitely worth your time. Some quick things I took away:

  • Overall, both sections do a pretty good job of covering both the “traditional” and the new “digital” ways of working which is interesting.
  • The colour section is a pretty a pretty good read but having taken A LOT of colour theory in college, there wasn’t anything earth shattering in it for me.
  • When I was starting out, I scoured the internet to find out what the usual point size for type actually is in a comic book. I thought there had to be a industry standard “best practice”. I found nothing at the time so I basically just tested things out myself and settled on a typeface size that I thought was legible and not overly large or small. And then I read this book and Todd Klein goes tells you what point size to use (11 point type and 11.5 point leading at full size, 7 point type and 7.4 point leading at printed size in case you’re wondering).
  • The digital type section is interesting and there’s a lot of really good tips. I’d also suggest digging through some tutorials about Adobe Illustrator as there is a lot you can do with Live Type and the effects, etc. if you’re looking to make interesting lettering.

So if you’re looking for some good reading materials to help get you started, I’d definitely recommend this one. I’ll probably have more to say about this stuff once I let it noodle over in my head for the next couple of days but it’s definitely worth the time if you’re interested.

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

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