What’s the right size for a funny cartoon?

When clients ask me for a quote for a cartoon, I always ask, just to be sure, which format is to be delivered. In reality it would be superfluous, usually every cartoon can be drawn in an A4 sheet (21×29.7 cm.).

But there are some details to consider: a cartoon can be square- or rectangular-shaped and, if rectangular, can be arranged horizontally or vertically or vary in height. So, which format to choose?

I consider some details:

  • Scene: what does the cartoon represent? What should I draw?
  • Characters: how many characters are involved in the cartoon?
  • Text: is it a pantomime cartoon, a cartoon with caption or does it have dialogues?

Now, I can know the ideal area of the cartoon and also the most suitable format.

Where will the cartoon be published?

This is another factor to consider: if the funny cartoon is for a newspaper or magazine, what space will it occupy? The cartoons I drew for “Gente Motori” occupied an area next to the article’s title.

Those drawn for “Il Mercatino del Collezionista”, on the other hand, had their own space in half-pages.

I was quite free to decide how to draw those cartoons, but the client could limit the format and layout of the cartoon.

Cartoons arranged horizontally or vertically?

Most of the cartoons I’ve drawn are arranged horizontally: it seems to me the best way to draw a cartoon. A few years ago I created some square-shaped humoristic cartoons about cats, but I don’t really like this format.

I drew rectangular-shaped cartoons arranged vertically, like the one created to celebrate the official hymn of Mameli. In that case I chose the rectangular format and the vertical arrangement just because of the characters: Mameli was in heaven and spoke with a character on Earth.