Creating A Hero

Hey guys!

This week has been an interesting one in my General Illustration 1 class. We are designing our own superheros! Pretty exciting stuff right?

We got a little history in about comic books and heroes, and those who designed them. I’m always more interested in learning the ins and outs of the character development. Though the class hasn’t gone too much into depth about it, I’ve done a lot of research to find out more about it.

When designing characters, shapes and silhouettes are very important. A character can’t be read without having a strong and distinct silhouette. What do I mean by that? Well, you must be able to tell who they are without color or details.  If the entire character is blocked out in one solid color, can you tell them apart from the rest of the cast?

Another great tip when creating a character is shape language! And what is shape language?

Take for example, the “Boba and Kiki” effect. When two shapes were passed onto some people, and they had to name them, they had to choose between the names Boba and Kiki. Boba was more often given to the round and squiggly shape, while Kiki was given to the one with sharper edges. Why is that?

Image result for bouba and kiki

Image by Andrew Dunn, 2004

Well some shapes read sharper and much more jaggedly, while the name Boba is round just like the rounded and squiggly flower like shape on the left. In the same effect, a character who is friendlier or kinder, or at least one of the good guys, should probably have rounder shapes such as circles, if you want them to be read appropriately. Villains who are edgier and sharper than their counterparts can also be read a lot easier.Of course, these are just tropes. But wouldn’t you want to be picked up by a superhero who has less sharp edges?

With that in mind, I designed my hero, Ace on the left, to look sturdy yet friendly. He has a roundish yet reliable square for his base. You can depend on him.

Ferrah, his ex girlfriend who is a vampire, has sharper edges. Her eyes and face are pointed in a way that allude to the sharpness in her attitude.

Well that’s all I got for this week, talk to you guys later!

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