To create a symbol for a character, representative of their design and personality. The symbol is to be made using Adobe Illustrator.
Character symbols must represent a character’s most basic attributes whilst still carrying the connotations needed to help recognise them easily, as opposed to another similar character. For example, with Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series, each character on the roster has a symbol that denotes the series they originated from; Mario has a Super Mushroom power up from the Super Mario series, Link has the Triforce symbol that reoccurs throughout the Legend of Zelda series, etc. If the player sees the symbol, they immediately recognise the series, and by extension the character. However, as there are typically multiple character from one franchise present in the Super Smash Bros. roster, colour is used to further separate the characters, like so:
This way, it is easy for players with prior knowledge of the characters in question to tell which symbol correlates to each character. For instance, if one is familiar with the Pokémon franchise, they could easily tell that the yellow Pokéball symbol (fourth row down, third column, on the above grid) denotes the character Pikachu as opposed to the other four Pokéball symbols next to it which denote other Pokémon characters, as yellow is the primary colour in Pikachu’s design.
Another example of a recognisable symbol for a character is the symbol for the character Ruby Rose from the RWBY anime series. Ruby’s design consists of red and black frilled clothing, as well as a prominent red hood and cape. Her weapon incorporates the same colouration to match her character, a common train for the series. The red of her design contrasts greatly against the black, making it stand out. Her symbol, a red rose, has similar connotations. The symbol’s geometry is simple enough, resembling a rose enough to be easily recognisable. However, the swirling protrusions at the top stand out. They may represent power, like heat rising from an object, or like fire. It also matches her design, as her clothing, especially her hood and cape, are cloth and, as such, flow.
Rather than create a new character to make a symbol for, I decided to take a character I previously made before and make a symbol for them. The character I chose is a vigilante hero called Thunderbolt, a female hero who fights with lightning powers, and whose design incorporates yellow contrasting black. Her outfit consists of a slim black catsuit with angular yellow lines running down the back of the sleeves and front of the legs, black leather boots with purple laces, fingerless gloves, an eye mask, and a yellow cloth worn as a belt, with the trail resembling a streak of lightning as she moves. She also uses a black and purple crossbow that is able to fire electrical charges as projectiles.
Yellow and black are the two core colours of the character’s design, so they would be the main colours incorporated. the two symbols usable to represent the character would be a lightning bolt and arrows. My initial idea was to create a symbol resembling a electricity warning sign, but I decided against it as, with the addition of lightning and arrows, I didn’t want the symbol to have too many sharp angles, and because it wold be difficult to get any symmetry with the design. Instead I decided to go with a circular shape.
From the design I was able to create a symbol to represent the character. The purple and black crossbow symbol represents the character’s weapon, though some have pointed out it looks somewhat like a pickaxe. The bolts on either side are mirrored to give the logo a symmetrical design. Additionally, the negative space between the bolts somewhat resemble an arrow.
The end goal was to create a symbol for a character, using vector image software. When first starting the task I had never used Adobe Illustrator before, nor had I worked with vector graphics. Given that, I feel that the end result is of a decent quality. It incorporates the necessary details of the character design, and could be used as a symbol associated with the character. If I were to improve it, I would add more detail, and possibly alter the colours slightly, as the black of the crossbow might not be easily visible on the character, and the white background is unappealing.