Comic Book / Comics

What Is the Layout of a Comic Book Page Called?

Comic books are a unique storytelling medium that combines art, dialogue, and narrative. The layout of a comic book page is an important aspect of its visual storytelling. In this article, we will explore the layout of a comic book page and what it is called.

Understanding the Anatomy of a Comic Book Page

A comic book page typically consists of several panels that are arranged in a specific order. Each panel contains a different moment in the story and can vary in size and shape. The space between panels is known as the gutter.

The space above and below the panels is known as the bleed area. This area allows for artwork to extend beyond the panel borders and create a more dynamic visual effect. However, it’s important to note that anything in this area may not be visible once the comic has been printed and trimmed.

Panel Layouts

The arrangement of panels on a page is known as the panel layout or page layout. There are several standard layouts used in comics:

  • Single-panel: A single image that takes up an entire page.
  • Splash: A large image that takes up most of the page.
  • Full-page spread: An image that spans across two pages.
  • Multi-panel: Multiple panels arranged on a single page.

Page Composition

A well-composed comic book page can enhance the reading experience by leading the reader’s eye through each panel. Here are some elements that contribute to effective page composition:

  • Focus: Use size, position, and framing to draw attention to important elements in each panel.
  • Rhythm: Vary panel sizes and shapes to create visual interest and pace out the story’s beats.
  • Balancing: Distribute visual weight across the page to create a sense of equilibrium.
  • Flow: Arrange panels and gutters to guide the reader’s eye smoothly through the page.

The Grid

The grid is a system of horizontal and vertical lines that define the size and placement of each panel. The most common grid is a 3×3 or 4×4 layout, but grids can be customized to fit the needs of the story.

Using a grid can help maintain consistency in panel size and spacing, making it easier for readers to follow the story. However, breaking the grid can create dynamic visual effects and emphasize specific moments in the story.

In Conclusion

The layout of a comic book page is an essential aspect of its storytelling. Understanding panel layouts, page composition, and grids can help create effective and engaging comics. Whether you’re creating your own comics or just reading them, understanding these elements can enhance your appreciation for this unique art form.


  • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
  • The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics by Carl Potts
  • The Art of Comic Book Writing by Mark Kneece