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Comics and Manga: Where Art and Design Cross (pt. 3)

For Part 1, click here:

For Part 2, click here:


To end this series, I want to show that the link between art and design created by comics goes beyond just the cover. Continuing with the example of One Piece, the best selling manga (Asian comic) of all time, there are many examples of design within the artwork of Eiichiro Ode.

Check out all these designs icons that play a heavy role within the story:

Each of these marks represents a different pirate “crew” within the story.  Thinking back to things I’ve been taught is school, is this not a hallmark example of a functional visual systems? Eiichiro Oda has employed the same techniques used within design firms to make all of the differing characters and factions in his stories seem uniformed. Combine this with the fact the title of “pirate” within the story of One Piece is symbolic of freedom, and all of a sudden you have a very strong brand identity. Besides the fact that One Piece is selling well and has managed to still be the most popular running comic series 20 years after its starting date in and of it self, there are things within the comic that start to be profitable on their on as well. These icons now hang on the wall of many fans, as a way of showing their support for that character or crew:

I know that I, personally, would love to create any brand that can resonate with an audience this strong; rather it be through comics or designing for an organization. Hopefully, you all can see that you don’t have to necessarily give up you fondness for art when you become a designer. If that artistic side of you wants to be free, just find a creative way to combine it with the design lessons you have been taught.

One Comment

  1. rb wrote:

    I always find it very interesting when entertainment properties have their own “in universe” branding. Some that immediately come to mind are the Red Apple cigarettes in Tarantino films and Los Pollos Hermanos in Breaking Bad. Cool stuff!

    Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink