IdN v19n6: Character Design Issue – Character Building
A good story, in any medium, is only as interesting as the characters in it. How do you invent a fictional being with which the whole world can identify? If we knew the answer we'd be millionaires, but there are plenty of people out there trying hard to come up with the next Mickey Mouse or Homer Simpson. We talk to some of them about the difficulties and satisfactions of this challenge and ask them what advice they would give to someone starting out on the character-building path.
Motion Gallery: Pattern/Symmetry
Character Design Issue: Character Building
Creative Country: Norway
Idea: Movie Poster
Interactive Design II: Keeping tabs on some of the best in the business
Pick of the Month
6 varying paper stocks
4C process + spot UV + vanish
96 minutes DVD Video included
We all grew up with various fictional characters that helped us adjust to the real world around us and with which we formed often quite strong bonds.
The soft toys whose comforting presence in our bed at night helped us to get to sleep were probably among the earliest, followed by those in the story-books from which our parents used to read to us. Kids have strong imaginations and it was not difficult to regard these characters as actual living beings, imbued with the different personalities that we chose to give them.
Craig&Karl | Din-Dong | Geneviève Gauckler | James Jarvis | Kevin Lyons | NC Empire | Sticky Monster Lab | Superdeux | Yum Yum
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The possibilities for symmetry and pattern-making in design are literally endless. Transforming mathematical measurements into aesthetically pleasing works of art is a task that increasing numbers of animators are setting themselves. We look at this latest trend in motion graphics through the eyes some of those who have become particularly adept at it.
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Norway has it all – scenic beauty, a wealth of natural resources and a rich cultural heritage. But the design scene in this Scandinavian kingdom is undergoing some profound changes, thanks largely to newfound affluence and a clear-sighted vision of the benefits that a thriving commercial-art sector can bring. We asked a clutch of young creatives to tell us what it's like to live and work in this enlightened ambience – and where it might all be leading.
Esra Røise | Bureau Bruneau | The Metric System | MVM | Randi Antonsen | Bleed Design Studio
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Vintage movie posters are hard to come by – and worth a small fortune. A study of the genre since the earliest days of cinema tells us a lot about the changes that society has undergone, though today's anything-goes approach to the art owes more to technical liberation than altered tastes. A pair of recognised experts in the field give us the benefit of their vast experience.
Tomasz Opasomski | Marcell Bandicksson
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After our last issue's exploration of the growing importance of eliciting a digital response from potential end-users, we continue with this theme – asking three extremely polished practitioners for their thoughts on the matter. It seems that there's no getting away from sheer application when it comes to inventing apps.
Kerem Suer | Tangible Interaction | Tree Axis
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"The principles behind my design concepts? Embrace insecurity. Try to spend more time on thinking than kerning type. Try to do things that are important to me, as well as pleasing to the client. Different influences are always helpful. Do not harm animals, and work with clients I can associate myself with."
"I think that I have prospered by believing in myself and continuing to discover what I consider to be exciting, without comparing myself with others. You have to be a gentle tiger!"
"I love simplicity, simple shapes, just two or three colours. I create my character design like I create logos or icons, that’s what I like to see in a character design."
"A character has to keep a kind of neutrality in order to be able to absorb everyone’s feelings. So the charcater shouldn’t be too descriptive, too detailed. That’s why many of the characters I’ve made are quite simple, everyone can see them the way they want."
"A good character design should make you smile. Pure and simple. It is a character you might see every day. A good character blends a lot of characteristics from several strong personalities. A wise guy. A con artist. A hopeless romantic. A practical joker … you can imagine them living around you."
"I don't see character design as a specialist discipline. A good character designer should have the same qualities that any good graphic artist requires: imagination, intelligence, craftsmanship and discipline."
"We hope not only to bring the character to life but also to create its own world. We see characters not as stand-alone individuals – they have their own friends, families, etc."