Two Heads are Better Than One
Years ago, we designed a manual for Hanna-Barbera. We wanted to show an example of a shirt using Hanna-Barbera characters such as Fred Flintstone. But there was a standing rule that an “A” character such as Fred Flintstone always was accompanied by a “B” and “C” character. I put Fred’s head on the shirt and surrounded him with Hong Kong Phooey’s head and Ma Kettle’s head. To me it looked great. Noreen pointed out it looked like a multiple personality disorder, or The Three Faces of Fred Flintstone.
I love illustration that uses multiple heads. Even better is illustration that has things growing out of people’s heads. I understand the need to convey multiple characters and a scene. Both of these devices do this. I like the idea of someone else’s head growing out of your own like a mutant twin. This was a popular device in the 1970s and 80s. Now think about this, it’s not easy to make it look as effortless and make sense. Both Bob Peak and Richard Amsel were masters of this. I urge all movie poster designers to return to this device. I want to see a poster of the Twilight characters all growing out of the side of one person’s head.