Cartooning is an effective illustration tool that Graphic artists, as well as fashion designers, can utilize in the designing of visual communication products like magazines, posters, billboards etc.
There are basically five types of cartoon drawings. These are Gag, Comic Strip, Animated, Editorial and Illustrative cartoons. Each of the types has their distinct uses in the field of visual communication.
i) Gag cartoons
‘Gag’ literally means a ‘joke’. Gag cartoons are usually single-paneled cartoon that is used to create fun about people in general. They create humor by the use of overstatements. They are used as a means of entertainment. Sometimes, they are used to highlight and poke fun at the faults or mistakes of humans. The cartoons may be accompanied by a single-sentence caption which may be the spoken words of a character.
ii) Comic strip cartoons
This type of cartoon appears as regular features with known or established characters in newspapers. They are portrayed in series to illustrate or tell a story. Each strip includes a series of panels with the words of characters encased in a balloon. They are published together in one or two pages.
iii) Animated cartoons (Animation)
This is a short, computer drawn cartoons made to appear as if it is hand drawn. They are made in series to create the illusion of movement and action. They are used for cinematography and are produced on audio-video screens. To create animation, each successive drawing in a panel is made to slightly differ from the first one before it to portray the notion of movement.
iv) Editorial cartoons
This type of cartoon is made for newspaper publication. They appear on the editorial page as single drawings which are used to throw more light on the editorial comment of a newspaper. They may appear with or without captions. Many editorial cartoons called caricatures poke fun at famous people such as politicians, musicians, etc. A caricature is a cartoon drawing of someone that exaggerates their appearance or behavior in a humorous manner to create fun.
They may also support the main editorial of the day or they may deal with some other events in the news item for the day. The cartoon below illustrates or supports an editorial about female genital mutilation.
v) Illustrative cartoons
Illustrative cartoons portray specific ideas in a direct and simple manner. They help in explaining stories, teaching aids or advertisements. They explain further the text that accompanies them. Books used in schools usually have illustrative cartoons that assist in explaining the subject or content. The cartoon below is an illustrative cartoon advertising a product.