It’s always good to update your skills – keep your game up. We always hear this over and over. A great way to keep your skills up is to create a challenge and walk your way through it.
I was sitting around looking at the latest ads for Batman and Superman flicks coming out and decided I wanted to take a bash at a creative challenge with them. Here was my challenge (and it’s still going on – btw) which was to create some iconic visual compositions using existing art - their logos – and then seeing if I could create a very emotive context that summed up the character visually. Now, granted – this is MY take so if these aren’t how youd do them with the resources out there that’s great. Go do some. But here’s some challenges… No existing footage from Movies or TV, you get the logo – the typographical elements. You can use graphical elements from the comics but not from Movies or TV.
The jobs to push the comic character – not the movie character. Don’t get them confused. We’re not selling the movie or a tv show… we’re selling the comic or something based on the comic. Oh – and since we don’t know the final look of the character – try not to show the character. So… kinda… stick with the logo and avoid actually showing the character itself. Try to stay in that confine and define the character visually. (Believe it or not I’ve had this almost exact challenge years ago…. so yeah, this kind of work does happen.)
That’s the challenge. Good luck and have fun… so far these are the ones I’ve come up with…
Superman – we all know. He’s about as iconic a hero as they come and there are visually to me two main elements that really sum up Supes. One is ‘the big red S’ … but even more, is this almost … regal, and regal isn’t really the best description – it’s bigger than being regal. It’s iconic. Superman is Mom, Apple Pie – the American Flag… it’s … this iconic bigger than life quality.
If I had to pick an element of Superman visually that describes it, it’s the way his cape flows in the breeze – so I wanted that cape. I wanted it bracketed and flowing in the breeze – and I wanted that big red “S” on it. Straight out of those old cartoons I grew up with.
Batman… needed to be this thing in flight – and he’s been sooooo tied to Gotham and this dark knight thing that Nolan’s got going that I was really burned out on that. Part of me was honestly, yearning for the days of the old campy batman – and even a bit of the cheesy George Clooney / Val Kilmer / Michael Keaton Batman movies.
The Bat Signal that whole larger than life genre that was a man who’d lost his family to something horrid, and was born out of a bat flying through a window. Not some, all encompassing evil ninja school of vengeance… so I went with the bat signal look in the night.
Flash… a lot of people don’t consider the Flash one of the big 3 you know? You have Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman – and all the rest of the Justice League are 2nd raters or something right? So I wanted to do something for the Flash because, hey, he’s like… needing some love.
I’ve got more to come… I’m working on thoughts for Wonder Woman, Aqua man, and others… because it’ a fun challenge that’s a good exercise for real life work. Take an existing logo and rework it into a new exciting composition – give it a distinct look and feeling – if possible an emotive level … and keep it under 20 seconds.