Re-inventing a Monster

The creative advantage is what separates us from others, is the one tool that makes people engage. If we want to stay ahead, we need to think ahead, differently. The opportunity to tackle a traditionally badass villain and turn it into something unexpected. The project was to redesign a character from the iconic “Invisible Man” 1940 movie for a game. I love a good classic monsters story and I’m a fan of Universal’s Dark Universe Monsters. I worked on it and I finished as I had planned. But then, the real story of this project started.

First Sketches

What is the reason for this character to exist? What makes a strong character? How can we see their design and have an instant feeling of appeal? Started with basic thumbnails thinking first in terms of shapes, not details, and from my favorite little quick sketches, I went bigger and adding details. Watched the 1940 Invisible man movie for some visual queues. Initially, my focus is to find the right connection between the character and the story. Then, how it fits in the overall vision of the project (in this case, the game) I let the character talk to me, to unravel what kind of visual story I needed to tell. I envisioned a very dramatic look, similar to the art compositions from Gustav Dore. I even took a pic of me posing to get the right expression, illumination, and pose I was looking for. I’m a funny artist 🙂

Creating a Beautiful Monster

I liked how the previous sketches turned out. The look, the illumination, the contrasts, the poses, etc. But my “Invisible Man” felt average, traditional, nice, and…expected. I decided to go back to the drawing board and just re-think the whole thing. To stay ahead, we need to think differently, and that’s how this version was born. Not what we usually expect from a classical monster. A scientist, betrayed by the person she loved, dismissed by the scientific community, and saved by the anomaly of a failed experiment. As she said…” I’m used to the pain of being invisible, even before this fortunate accident people never saw I was there.” More than a villain, she’s an anti-hero. She transformed her frustration and pain into focus and created a beautiful monster.


Neoclassic illustration, Gustav Dore, dramatic lights
Classical monsters films
Chiaroscuro lighting for dramatic enhancement
Vintage clothing from 1920 designers
Hollywood golden age silent actrecess.
Velvelt and Silk accesories, vintage google glasses.

Storytelling through Type Design

All the elements of the design, the character itself, and the typography need are indeed in service of the creative vision. I looked into different styles of typography that supported the dynamics of the story, the game, and the feel of the design. From art-deco to victorian style, even a type made of ‘bandage’ for the in-game font.