Technical marketing and How to Draw Comics the Marvel WayLast week, in a conversation about technical marketing, I may have let slip that the first book on design I ever read was How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way and there seems to be growing evidence that I’m not alone in this. A fantastic post over on Inspired Magazine discusses the inspiration comic book design can provide for commercial designers.

One of the key points made is that we can imitate the dynamic layout of comic books by abandoning the uniformity of size that pervades so many technical manuals, brochures and Web sites. Using this technique we can emphasise certain things on a page and in doing so make the reader look the other things as well. In contrast, a traditional grid based design makes everything look the same and emphasises nothing at all.

I’m really keen on this idea. While I love a style manual as much as the next man, I’ve often thought that internal consistency in a document for its own sake brings few benefits.

This is a really interesting point and one that can be applied to technical marketing as well as design. In PR, we can bring writing techniques to bear that have been learnt from other sources, whether they are comic books, letters or Victorian novels. It’s just a case of not being ashamed of your source material. If you are designing a catalogue the Marvel way, just say so; you may not be alone!

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