So for the past week I have been playing about with ideas for this typography character, I started off by printing out some of the typefaces that I liked or thought I could use, I put Fantasia on in the background and started to sketch. (Click on images to enlarge.)
I have to admit though when I first started off sketching out ideas I was initially influenced by Fantasia that I was half watching, even though I have not seen it in many years I still remember parts so vividly; and more importantly I remember the things I used to imagine while watching and listening to the music. So my first initial sketches of a character were of the young Pegasus’ that were flying around during Ludwig van Beethoven’s: The Pastoral Symphony.
I started to have trouble drawing out the Pegasus in a typeface in pencil so I started sketching out some other ideas, such as the fox character that originated from character designs I had been play about with in a previous project, but has not had a chance to use him yet.
This is the original designs for the fox like character that I have dubbed Rory, it is something that was cross inspired by a graphic novel entitled The Saga of Rex I purchased at Page Forty Five a while ago and my favourite Sylvanian when I was a child.
I then started to think about other creatures, hence the other animals appearing, I’m not sure where the rabbit came from…I think it originated from realising that the capital ‘W’ in the Hobo Std typeface looked like rabbit ears.
This also got me thinking about other creatures that were recognisable due to their iconic shape as I thought that this would be easier to translate into typography as I could work from the silhouette of the character. As I have been thinking about New Zealand a lot lately (as around this time three years ago I was in New Zealand), I looked up and old college project that was inspired by that trip and decided to look at the Kiwi as it has an obvious shape and making it fairly recognisable.
Yet sketching typefaces out on paper was a good starting point, but soon became frustrating as I felt that I was starting to be rather liberal with the text positioning and warping and was afraid that the designs would not look the same when created out of the real letters. So I decided to boot up illustrator so as to ‘sketch’ in that with a little more accuracy.
These are the results:
The addition of the white speck in the eyes I think adds to this character a lot, although I was playing about with the colours for quite some time. I was thinking of using things colours associated with Easter, however in pink the rabbit started to look rather disturbing. I do think I am going to come back to this one – yet I don’t think I will use it for this brief I am having fun playing about with it without keeping in mind the limitations. At present I think I might end up using this for the Easter cards I send out this year…if I can get the colours right – the rabbit in purple is not nice the longer I look at it.
The tail was added last minute as Kiwi’s aren’t completely round , despite what my fluffy Kiwi souvenir from Auckland depicts (which this image was part based on to be fair). Without the tail it was not saying Kiwi bird to me, but it is overlapping the ‘O’ of the body, something I am not happy with. Yet overall I think this is the strongest design so far as it is simple, but thought out.
After a few days of playing about with typeface character design I decided to give it a break on Saturday and decide on the final submission on Sunday. I choose the Kiwi in the end as I felt it met the brief and stayed within the limitations. Although I am still tempted to develop some of the other ideas further…I think I may have found a little side project here as I really do feel quite inspired in creating animal characters in this way.
So after submitting I did play about with another idea with a very different typeface, a sketchier one as I think it fitted the character more. It is a creature from one of the Studio Ghibli films, ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’, yet my sister pointed out that it also looked like a certain Pokemon, so I may have to work on the design a bit more.
However I love the way the eye has turned out and the mouth – even though the original character doesn’t have a visible one.
Yet for now I don’t have that much time to play about with more character designs, it is time to submit my Kiwi design and get started on next weeks task. Which means getting used to Maya, something that I know I can do eg. The Train Model.