Book Review: Marvel by Design

Marvel by Design - 01

Marvel by Design is a wonderful resource for comic artists and fans of Marvel comics. The book takes a detailed look at the graphic design strategies used to create beautiful covers and pages all in service of telling a story and selling the comics.

The book's a large format 320-page hardcover published by Gestalten, a publisher of high quality artbooks.

Here's the list of contents:

  • Introduction: The Art of Designing Marvel
  • A Brief History of Marvel
  • The Marvel Method: Then and Now
  • Who Really Makes a Comic?
  • The Graphic Elements: Covers
  • The Graphic Elements: Layouts
  • The Graphic Elements: Logos
  • The Graphic Elements: Color Palettes
  • The Graphic Elements: Lettering
  • The Graphic Elements: In Focus
  • Fantastic Four
  • Iron Man
  • Storm
  • Captain America
  • Thor
  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Spider-Man
  • Captain Marvel & Ms. Marvel
  • The Winter Soldier
  • An Oral History of Dawn of X
  • Marvel Beyond Marvel
  • Index

The book explores covers, layouts, logos, colour palettes and lettering. There's a huge variety of examples from the plenty of Marvel comic titles published over the years. You can see how the logos are integrated with the design, or the scene or the characters, e.g. Hulk carrying the logo. How panelling is used to aid storytelling, how logos were designed and more.

The text is insightful and talks about the rationale and purpose of the designs or re-designs.

You'll get to see how design has evolved of the decades in terms of style. There are also selected showcases on characters and their design evolution.

The book's huge and all the artworks are reproduced in high resolution on good quality low gloss paper. Looking at the beautiful pages and design is satisfying. It's a book that's put together really nicely. You don't expect anything less from Gestalten.

This is not a step-by-step instructional book though. Each graphic design element featured in the book can be the topic of an individual book itself and such books already exists if you want to learn more about specific tools or techniques.

This is a beautiful and useful book for anything working in the comics industry and fans of Marvel. Highly recommended.


This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

Marvel by Design is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN)

Marvel by Design - 02

Marvel by Design - 03

Marvel by Design - 04

Marvel by Design - 05

Marvel by Design - 06

Marvel by Design - 07

Marvel by Design - 08

Marvel by Design - 09

Marvel by Design - 10

Marvel by Design - 11

Marvel by Design - 12

Marvel by Design - 13

Marvel by Design - 14

Marvel by Design - 15

Marvel by Design - 16

Marvel by Design - 17

Marvel by Design - 18

Visit Amazon to check out more reviews.

The links below are affiliate links, which means I earn some commission from each purchase, but at no extra cost to you.

Here are direct links to the book: | | | | | | | | |

This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.


Add new comment