I recently gave some tips on how to choose paper for drawing comics. Once you have decided on the paper you need, you will have to either 1) mark off the areas of the paper to draw in or, 2) print a template onto the paper. The second is way easier, but in case you don’t have a printer that will handle the 11×17 paper, let’s briefly go over the areas of a comic book template.

There are 3 components of a comic book template. The full bleed area, the trim area and the safe area.

  1. The full bleed area is the out-most solid line. Anything drawn between this and the next line will probably be lost when printed. Draw up to this line for a page that’s supposed to contain art over the entire printed page, but don’t put anything important in this area.
  2. The trim area is the next inner line. This is where the art will be cut for the printed page.
  3. The safe area is where the important stuff lives. Keep your panel borders and lettering in this area.

Note: Templates are usually non-photo blue, cyan, or light cyan so that when scanned, the template doesn’t show up but your linework does. You could use another color too–Photoshop can remove it– but blue works really well.

I could reinvent the wheel, but over at Blambot.com they’ve done an excellent job of showing the measurements in this image:


Templates are very easy to find, here’s an excellent one from Deviantart by GeekyWhiteGuy.



I reduced it to fit on standard copy paper too in case you don’t have a large format printer. You can make comics just fine at the smaller size. Just find what works for you and what you have the resources to do–then do it!


That’s all there is to it. I hope this helps!

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