ideation iteration illumination

The frame is a powerful tool that has been utilized by artists, illustrators, photographers, directors and, of course, designers. There are many kinds of frames and framing, both real and artificial as well as temporary and permanent. While designing experiences that transcend single frame types and contexts I’ve been thinking more and more about the spaces between the frames.

The frame has probably seen the most dramatic shift from formalistic device to expressive canvass with maturation of the comic book artists who have harnessed the frame and the space around it to create dramatic and compelling visual narratives. Scott McCloud did a thoughtful analysis of comic book’s frame and gutter back in his 1993 groundbreaker Understanding Comics. I’ve read the book a few times since ’93 and this notion of the space between the frames has hit me as an obvious antecedent to “away times” of digital content experiences that shift in time, context, and form.

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