1) The overall layout (similar to the pure composition of a picture without words)
2) *** The layout draws you to the picture. The picture-the biggest one if there are more than one is the most important element of the layout. If it isn't pleasing, you won't bother to read the text. You'll turn the page. The layout is not an end in itself. It is subservient to the message and the picture. It is a tool to guide your eye to the fun.
3) The picture attracts you to find out about it and hopefully read the text.
All these have a real logical clarity to their designs. They are loosely mathematical without being rigid or symmetrical.
They have hierarchy of importance. Big pictures and big text are obviously more important than small pics and small text. They know you may not read all the small text, so in big letters they tell you the main point of the text.
In a kids' book the pictures are really dominant.
The big things invite you to peruse the details. The details are not in charge or in the way.
I believe in the basic principles of composition (or layout - or structure), hierarchy and clarity in every kind of communication- whether it's drawing cartoons, writing a story, directing a picture or even just selling a product. These basic principles don't at all hinder your style. These examples show a variety of styles that all use logic, clarity and functional design.
This kind of planned communication is what separates "vintage" pop culture and art from today's.
Clarity and design VS cluttered anarchy.
More examples of good stuff to come...