Identity + Animation + System Design
Cosplay is an activity where people dress up as different pop culture characters, attend conventions or participate in different events. I was curious about what made people start dressing up, how they chose characters, and who these people were underneath the costumes.
I attended the San Francisco Comic Con and interviewed around twenty different cosplayers, both amateur and professional. I found out that most cosplayers choose characters that they feel a personal connection to, whether it’s their origin story, motivation, or personality. I also learned that charity is a big part of cosplay. People dress up and attend fundraisers, community events, and children’s hospitals, and there are national cosplay organizations that help organize and bring people together.
After these interviews, I decided that my focus would be to normalize cosplay as an activity. I wanted to show that it wasn’t some odd hobby and that people of all different backgrounds are involved.
The logo is inspired by the duality of cosplay. The costumed side is more stylized, reflecting the nature of comic book characters, while the human side is softer and has more realistic features. If you were to break apart the logo, the human side would fit perfectly into the mask, showing how these are two sides of the same person.
Spotlight and Sweatshirt
During my research, I found out that many cosplayers are active in the community. There are national organizations that help organize these events. Cosplayers go out to children's hospitals, community gatherings, and more dressed in full costume. This project promotes this practice to both those within the cosplay community and those who are not.
The sweatshirt lining is something that can be earned by completing enough hours of community service. The lining is a pattern that customized based on the characters that each person portrays. This is a way for people to feel a connection with the characters when living their life outside of cosplay.
Video and Flipbook
This video aims to normalize the practice of cosplay by comparing different forms of "dressing up," including sports uniforms, high fashion, and professional attire. It was created by taking digital illustrations from Adobe Illustrator and animating them in Keynote.
Additionally, the video is accompanied by a small flipbook that contains more illustrations. The book is split into three sections that the viewer flip individually, mixing and matching different pieces of clothing to create their own characters, reflecting each cosplayer's individuality.