While still in the process on deciding upon a mascot, the design team took an open minded approach to new ideas to express creativity and originality. Although we both found the rat character a fun addition to the app we identified problems with the idea before beginning any digital designing in an effort to weigh out the best course to take to suit the clients needs. The issue we found with using a rat as a mascot was its irrelevance to the Magna Carta exhibition in itself as well as being unable to give the app a linear-narrative structure which we desired (read about why we designed this structure here).
Thus to find a creative solution to this, we devised a character personifying the Magna Carta itself in order to inject life, emotion and ultimately creativity to the otherwise an unaesthetically pleasing document. With the addition of it being the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, we incorporated this information by basing the app around the Magna Carta mans 800th birthday thus making our app a significant contribution to the exhibition as well as generating an emotional connection towards the subject of the exhibition.
The early conceptualisation focused on using the curvature of an aged scroll to form the wrinkles of a man which who was 800 years old. The incorporation of large un-groomed eyebrows, moustache and feather pen walking stick also ties in well this theme.
The initial gender of character was devised as being masculine. The logic from this came from drawing influence from the 13th century, a time where men held authority within the society. Here is the initial design for the magna Carta app:
Through further development on the design of the Magna Carta, the sex of the Magna Carta character became blurred through choice of simplistic facial features which corresponded with the neutral colour pallet. However the main alteration made through this process was the elimination of a torso contributing to the gender neutral design. Resulting in us moving away from the masculine values of the medieval era, to reveal a enlightened perception of equality and justice. Ultimately channelling the essence of the Magna Carta into the illustration; here are the finished designs of the multiple facial expression which will be used within the app:
The main interaction the audience has with the Magna Carta character is when the user presses the button to here the sound. This was our main attraction down the mascot route in order to generate an emotional connection towards the workings of the game.
Originally we had ambitions for this to be a short animation which played both sounds through separate animation which would show alongside each other showing Magna Carta character blowing a medieval style horn. However upon consulting our coders, we realised this would present difficulty due to data restrictions. Thus the end result involved a single static image of the magna character blowing the horn on each question page which played the two sound which we merged together using audacity. Heres the end result and the instructions page which visually explains the workings of the game: