Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cartoon Silhouettes


I'm not sure how many of you have made it over to my group blog, Creative Juices, but I just posted on something that I thought most of you would find interesting. I had a little theory that I wanted to test. Which is that most if not all memorable cartoon characters can be reduced to a silhouette, and still be immediately recognizable. It was an extremely pleasurable exercise for me, as I think about shape, form, and positive and negative space when I design my own characters. It's so much fun to investigate character design at this level. Here's the direct link to the post.

24 comments:

Brandon said...

Wow... I was able to name all of them and with little to no hesitation. Arnold from Hey Arnold took me a second to remember the name, but not the character.

shwara said...

wow.. even i can tell thats was Daffy not donald, or any other duck character from his pose and attitude

great post man

DB Dowd said...

Great work, Bob! Nice call out on Drawn! I linked to this myself at http://ulcercity.blogspot.com/2008/04/designerly-look-at-toonland.html

Great insight...

Anonymous said...

Whi is 3rd character from last? Only one I couldn't get...

Victor said...

I believe that's Bobby from "Bobby's World"

andywise said...

How about 3rd row from top, third from the right?

Tim said...

It's Mojo Jojo from Power-Puff Girls.

This is a great posting. Thanx for putting this up!

manpop said...

i want this on a tee shirt!

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks everyone! It seems like I tapped into something fun. I'm not giving away any of the answers, though :) If you don't know one, there's a good chance you're not as familiar with the character (or they just didn't make a strong enough visual impact on you).

I'd say that within the group, there are definitely some weaker silhouettes.

There are a couple things at work here, in my opinion. The more distinctive the design of the character, the stronger the silhouette. But your brain still needs to make the connection. Which is so cool that they work really small. They must be stored in our brain like pictograms (or we've abstracted them at some level). Or be related how we visually process symbols.

I should add this probably isn't the most random sampling. I just did characters that came to mind who I thought had an interesting design.

If I had realized so many folks would take interest, I would've been more careful about my selections.

But still fun, nonetheless!! :)

Jason said...

i got all but two on the first go! on the last row, the second and fourth images stumped me. i knew them visually but not by name. i agree with manpop, this would make a great shirt.

ilsson said...

Very cool!

GOGOPEDRO said...

Some solid food for thought here... and an interesting image...It should be wrapping paper or a wallpaper.

I can name um all...no sweat.
Thanks for sharing man.


P

Bob Flynn said...

No plans of t-shirts or wrapping paper folks. I have no interest in financial gain from this (or the probable lawsuits that would ensue).

Aleo said...

All in Portuguese (Brazil)...

Line 1) Mickey, Patolino, fred Flinstone, The Ren & Stimpy, Bart Simpson, Bob Esponja, Gato Felix, Papa-léguas

Line 2) Marge Simpson, Zé Colméia, Stewie Griffin, Popeye, Sr. Sirigueijo, Charlie Brown, Pernalonga, Vilma Flinstone, Super Mouse

Line 3) Alceu, Oddie, Pateta, Lula Molusco, Dexter, Snoop, Macaco Loco, Olívia Palito, Pantera cor-de-rosa

Line 4) Betty Boop, Arnold, Gasparzinho, -, Taz, Bob, Pinky & Cérebro, Marvin - O Marciano

k. borcz said...

AWESOME. You could always make your own tshirt, just get one of those handy iron on tshirt transfers.

wanderingspace.net said...

reminds me of the weRobot design with all the robot sils.

Kyri Kyprianou said...

This is great, it is something I've never thought about in my own work. I will do now though! Thanks

clairity said...

total awesomeness. screaming to be my background.

Sandra Khoo said...

Heyas Bob, this is definitely one experiment gone right and I'm so happy that you did it and shared it. Thank you so very much! Xtreme Nostalgia happening...

quasivoid said...

What a great idea.

Anonymous said...

I've seen too many cartoons.
good seeing

peace

Kimberly said...

Is there a place that has all the answers? I didn't know some of them. (Row 2, #5), (Row 3, #4 and #5).

Bob Flynn said...

Hi Kimberly. I never revealed the answers before. You should be able to get them if you've seen the cartoon. But a couple are tricky, and missing 3 isn't bad.

Only because I'm nice (and the post is pretty old at this point):

You missed Mr. Krabs, Squidward, and Dexter. Two are from SpongeBob, so I'm guessing you haven't overdosed on the show like the rest of us ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tim said...

I only missed one which is the one 6th cartoon in the last row