How to Tell Stories in Small Spaces : Illustrated Narratives for Mobile Devices

How to Tell Stories in Small Spaces : Illustrated Narratives for Mobile Devices

Have you ever wished to create stories with mobile devices in mind? This tutorial discusses the challenges, considerations and tools for representing illustrative narratives on smaller screens; including comic books and graphic novels

How is the planning, composition, artwork and text of a story altered by displaying it in a small screen? What limitations exist and how do you overcome these as an illustrator and storyteller?

There’s a real need to address these challenges as we consume more and more content on mobile devices. Peter von Stackelberg tackles these issues and lays out some of the tools that are available for small space story-telling.

This two hour tutorial considers these topics:-

  • Why Publish on Mobile Devices
  • Trends in Digital Storytelling
    • Digital comics
    • Micro-novels
    • Illustrated Stories
  • E-Book vs. App vs. Motion Book
  • Steps to Creating an e-Story
  • Designing for Small Screens – The Hardware
  • Designing for Small Screens – User Interface
  • Designing for Small Screens – User Interaction/Navigation
  • Designing for Small Screens — User engagement
  • Designing for Small Screens – Visual storytelling
    • Visual composition
    • Ratio of text to image
    • Speech/thought bubbles in small spaces
    • Covers, credits and other pages
  • Create Comic Book Archive Files
  • Tools for Creators
    • Adobe Spark
    • MotionArtist
    • Madefire
    • Kindle Comics Creator
    • Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator 3
    • Squiffy

About the Presenter : Peter von Stackelberg

“Whether it’s with words or images, I love to tell stories. I’ve been a storyteller as far back as I can remember — well before I made journalism my first career.

I studied journalism at Ryerson University (long before it was known as a university) and spent a number of years as an investigative journalist and news photographer. With the emergence of the web in the 1990s, I worked as a web designer, e-commerce developer, and IT project manager. In the early 2000s, I was a professional futurist doing technology forecasting and working as a technology strategist. I also began teaching college classes in strategic management, managing technology and innovation, project management, business communications, systems thinking, and other courses.

Through all of these jobs writing and visual communication remained a core part of the work I did.

I have a B.A. in Journalism from Ryerson University, an M.S. in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and an M.S. in Information Design & Technology from SUNY IT (State University of New York Institute of Technology).

What's Included and Features

  • Bonus Content:
    • PDF file of the tutorial (65 slides)
    • PDF demo chapter variants for arranging text and graphics for mobile devices
  • Tutorial Content Details:
  • Introduction:
    • Introduce tutorial details
    • Introduce Peter
  • What inspired this seminar:
    • Interest in storytelling
    • Technological change
    • New forms of storytelling
  • New types of media:
    • Micro novels
    • Digital comics
    • Motion books
  • New marketplace
    • Mobile devices
  • Illustrated Stories – A Brief History:
    • 19th Century – Dickens and others
    • Comics – Prince Valiant
    • Comics – Classics Illustrated
    • Graphic Novels – Maus
  • Illustrated Stories – Current Developments:
    • Illustrated Novels – Amy’s Eyes
    • Serialized Illustrated Novels
  • Participant Examples:
    • What kind of projects are participants working on?
    • Biggest challenges?
    • What works? What does not?
    • What do participants want to do with stories?
    • What experience do participants have?
  • Steps to Creating an e-Story:
    • Workflow
    • Publishing as the Final Step
  • E-Book vs. Motion Book vs. App:
    • Platforms
    • Pros & cons for each
    • Ease of development
    • Evolving technologies
  • Designing for Mobile Devices:
    • Importance of content
    • Mobile design:
      • Restricted space
      • Don’t overwhelm
      • Designing touch points
      • Reading on mobile devices
    • Landscape vs. Portrait
    • Details & image size
    • Aspect ratios
    • Dimensions on specific platforms
  • Participant Q&A
  • User Interaction:
    • What do you want to reader to do?
    • What kind of interface does your reader need?
    • What specific tasks does your reader need to perform?
  • User Interface:
    • Mobile touchpoints
  • User Interaction vs. User Engagement:
    • Interaction vs. Engagement
    • Types of interactive narratives
  • Q&A/Participant Discussion
  • Integrating Text and Images:
    • Multiple approaches
    • Design considerations:
      • Larger fonts
      • San serif rather than serif fonts
      • Less text
      • Consistent placement of text blocks
    • Visual cues to direct attention
  • Tools for Creators (Overview):
    • Kindle Comic Creator
    • Kindle Textbook Creator
    • Android Magazine App Maker
    • Appy Pie (App Maker)
    • Madefire Motion Book Tool
  • Wrap Up/Resources/”Assignment”


  • This product includes:
    • 1 General Installer

Compatible Software:

DAZ Studio 4.10

Install Types:

Install Manager, Manual Install