IMAGE MANIPULATION / Character Design / Term 3, Week 4

This week we headed straight on to our first (major) assignment, which is designing a self-promoting character. The character design should be based on our personality and the outputs will be in forms of postcards and desktop background. These vector-made characters will be placed at real-life settings (campus, home, and one free choice of place). Usage of smart object & smart filter will be exercised as we put the vector art into Photoshop and combine them with the background (image taken by ourselves).

This is a advertising campaign for fritz-kola “vielvielkoffein”, done by Rocket & Wink (found on behance). I find these hilarious because of the obvious wordplay. From “wachtel” which means quail (bird) to wachhund (watch dog, still normal) to wachbaer (watch bear), wachforelle (watch tuna), to wachhalla, wachilles (self-explanatory laughter); all of them posing in retrospect to the shape of the quail bird. The character design doesn’t have too much details but they’re cute, has strong visual impact and incite laughter.

Punny characterised illustrations by Mauro Gatti on Behance. This kind of shed light on how some English phrases/compound words are hilarious when taken (and illustrated) literally. I’m thinking of finding a phrase that’d describe myself in a nutshell to add a striking and hopefully funny characteristic to my design.


Illustrations done by Marylou Faure on Behance. This is the sort of style I am aiming for my character design, kind of art deco-ish and showing some exaggerated geometrical shapes. These characters, although simple, show a lot of personality through the colors and shapes used. Their poses also suggest strong personality and individuality; the different characters of several women.

There are some sketches and doodles going on; I have a vague idea on how I want my character to look, but nothing concrete yet and I feel like they lack visual impact. Hopefully with more research I can find new insights about myself and how to present myself in form of a 2D vector art.

Current moodboard


Sketches and mini brainstorming:





While doodling I thought about what trademark / iconic physical trait could this character have. The first few doodles were based on the thought of androgyny, combining the male-female symbol and put it as a physical trait for the character.


Then I realised that the shaded part (two parts poking out symbolising the gender sign) is kind of shaped like my hair and my fringe which tends to poke out to the right side, shaped by my glasses’ frame which it rests on.


It developed to this, one headed two legged (or hands, it could stand on its hands) thing. I excluded most anatomical parts because I want the focus to be on the head and I’m thinking of changing the hair colors as the mood of the character changes.

Many of my friends consider me to be very level-headed but that’s simply untrue (how did they get that kind of impression is beyond my comprehension).







The character’s hair color changes and its limbs will be either outstretched our withdrawn depending on its mood. Blue haired is “sans” – chill, calm, normal-state. Red head with a kind of standing/tensing up pose is “con” – annoyed, angry, infuriated, at state of imbalance. Sans is Latin for “without” (Italian senza), while con means “with”. I used this theme because incidentally “sans” is like the short of my name. The changing of hair color is inspired from me being labelled as level-headed even though its untrue, so I put a twist to it and make my character leveled-head. The color indicates their level; sans is level 0, con is level 100. The closer the color is to the hue of red, the higher the level is. emo is at level -10. The one with squinted eyes (in the sketch its trait is ‘unamused’) is meh. and it is level 30.

(added side view & lying on the back pose)


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