Bullet point is a term that comes from French vignette and that allows to name the boxes of a Serie that, with their drawings and texts, form a cartoon. The concept also refers to the scene printed in a publication that can be accompanied by a comment and that is generally humorous.

The vignette, therefore, is the painting that represents an instant or moment of a cartoon. It is usually considered as the pictographic representation of the least significant time or space. Therefore, it is the minimum unit of the montage of the comic strip.


The vignettes are the boxes of a comic strip.

Components of a bullet

The vignettes can present verbal language and iconic language simultaneously, since some show only drawings and others also include text. The reading order corresponds to the writing system: in Western countries, therefore, the vignettes are read from left to right, in the same sense in which the pages are turned. This format changes in those countries that write and read from right to left, such as Japan.

The bullets are delimited by black lines and separated by a space known as Street or gutter. The reader must interpret the dead times between the different vignettes and give them meaning.

Today, digital comics (which can be read through Internet or on a device such as a computer or a tablet PC) put into play the notion of vignette, since the transfer between scene and scene can be done in different ways: with animations, requiring the reader to click or touch a certain point on the screen, and so on.


In a comic you can find sequences of vignettes.


Another area in which vignettes are used is the cinema, specifically in the making of a storyboard, that is, a series of drawings that are shown in sequence and that serve as a guide to understand a history, to get an idea of ​​what a certain animation of a character will look like or to build the skeleton of a movie prior to making it.

The origins of the storyboard (whose application is known as storyboarding) date back to the 1930s, at Disney Studios. Until then, both the father of cartoons and other studios had used processes similar. The popularity of this technique, as simple in appearance as it is useful for creators of animated content, was considerable during the 1940s.

Thanks to the use of the storyboard, it is possible to visualize the developing of the facts of a story as the cameras will see them, simply by investing the time and paper to draw the pictures. It goes without saying that this process is very inexpensive, that it does not entail significant expense for filmmakers, so there are not many valid reasons to ignore it.

At the bottom of each frame it is possible to make annotations related to technical issues specific to filming, or to objectives of the director that are too detailed to be expressed in the vignettes.

Complexity of bullets in a storyboard

The degree of complexity of a storyboard varies depending on the needs and the scope in which it is used. Advertisers often use this technique to unleash their creativity, but they do not require a level of detail as deep as that of filmmakers, since they generally do not seek to cause such a wide range of emotions and sensations in consumers. In addition, it influences the number of people who will consult it at the time of the realization.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the use of colourAs well as the finish of the images depends on the taste of each person: a storyboard in black and white, composed of geometric sketches, is equally valid as a sequence of realistic color paintings.