When you're creating the look of your fictional world what can really help you in the design of the look and feel of it is coming up with a “Design Language”.
What I mean by this is the theme of the overall look of things and the reasons for it. For my own comic, Pinky TA, the main influence for the designs is that the comic is set in the 1920s: so technology is powered by diesel engines and is rather rough and not very advanced.
Pictured is the Tromper mech from Pinky TA (or SSV). For this I wanted something that looked funky and technologically advanced while still showing its crude origins. The purpose of this mecha was as a scout vehicle with some offensive capability. So the idea was to make it look heavy and battle-worthy with its large legs and heavily riveted Armour, while also fairly slim and slightly streamlined. I originally gave it two fixed 50 cal water cooled Vickers heavy machine guns and two pods carrying a number of unguided high explosive rockets; all simple weapons technology that was available in the 1920s and perfectly suited the role I needed for the vehicle.
I went through a number of different designs before I came upon the right look and configuration.
Another great example of a design language in action is the movie Conan the Barbarian.
The story is set in the real world rather than fantasy, but in a fictional prehistory, so they had to totally invent a look of the prehistorical aesthetic that looked plausible rather than silly and foolish like it often did in lessor fantasy films. They took their influences from ancient cultures like the Egyptians, Mongolians, Minoans for example and posited what they'd have evolved from. As a result the world presented in first Conan movie looks real.
For the actors and scenes they took inspiration from the fantasy paintings of Frank Frazetta, this gave them the masculine, muscular, earthy, heroic image that perfectly fit with the theme of the film. Frazetta himself based his own aesthetic on the classical heroic imagery of the Renaissance, which was in turn directly influenced by the heroic sculpture of ancient Rome and Greece, which was often based on the prehistorical mythology: the same sort of world Conan is set in.
What makes up your design language?
Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Aug. 1, 2019
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