Friday, 9 October 2015

Narrative Story- Character Thumbnails

In our story there is a character who expresses himself through social media. He is the living embodiment of a social network site, so this was an interesting motive for character design. I have done a few rough sketches of characters based on social media sites and their logos.

1. Facebook- I felt he would have a long, straight figure, and every part of him has angles. I also based the shape of his head on the Facebook logo.
2. Twitter- The icon for twitter is a blue bird, and so I based this character's design on that idea. I particularly like this sketch as he looks like a human slowly transforming into a bird.
3. Emoji- The third character was based on an emoji, but when I finished the sketch it reminded me a bit of a fried egg. I'm very fond of this design as the emoji theme is far to obvious and I think something discrete will work better for this character.
4. Facebook- Another character based on the Facebook logo. This one is shorter and in my opinion, looks a little cutesy.
5. Tinder- Nothing screams good social skills like Tinder. This character may work if the theme for our animation was 'love,' but I don't think it'll work in the context of friendship. Still it was good to get ideas down.
6. Instagram- This one may be my favourite, as I like his face. The logo for Instagram is a camera and that perfectly represents what social media is now. People taking photographs and looking at other photographs. This character is one that likes to watch and observe other people.
7. Tumblr- The logo for Tumblr heavily influenced the design of this character, as I tried my best effort to make his face in the shape of a 't'.
8. You Tube- His face is based on the logo of You Tube and a widescreen television. This character was a quick sketch and I'm not particularly fond of it.

Feedback from anyone would be much appreciated as I think some opinions are needed. I don't want any of these characters to be the final design, as each one of them is based on one social media site. I would like the character in our story to represent social media in general, with out singling any websites out. 


  1. I love 2,3 and 6. The emoji is very interesting thinking about the story, we have of him grinning at the girl weirdly. Then 3 and 6 there are much expression we can do them !

  2. Hi Cat

    I think there is a couple of things to consider...

    1) Structure: In terms of Character (structural design) there are some which stand out as being consistent throughout and some that are 50/50. I'd avoid designing characters where the 'head' is an a shape on a generic body (no 6, 4). The design logic should be present throughout the character. Numbers 1, 2, 5, are better in that respect.

    2) Brand: I think you could possibly 'characterise' the qualities of the website a little better/ what is the 'attitude' of the brand / what is the typical user like (who's it marketed too)...All of your drawings are characterful in their own right and do have a sense of 'personality' but I'm not sure any of them so far completely capture the brand 100% (some are close). I'd suggest jumping back in and giving them another pass after a bit of research about the sites. 3 and 8 appear to be the weakest (I don't think youtube / twitter when I look at them), the others have a gem of an idea in them and a sense of brand that could be revisited.

  3. FYI - Don't forget you can blend sites. You can make something that feels like social media and not an actual representation of one site. You're also designing a character who's nervous about asking a girl in that respect he's more of a teenager overall. The exercise in personifying Facebook etc is to eventually give you clues on what you may include in your own character.

    1. Thanks Alan, I'll take your notes into consideration for the next thumbnails :)