Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Characters and Names by Florian-K Characters and Names by Florian-K
© Florian K., since 2014


I've read in several threads that some people have difficulties finding fitting names for their characters (me included) — names seem to be such a minor thing, but it can actually be pretty hard to find the perfect name for a character or creature or species.
In this tutorial I list some of the criteria I use to find fitting names. Maybe my steps can be helpful for other people.
If you find mistakes or encounter problems, please let me know.

_____


FREE CONTENT
The tutorial includes information about how I choose fitting names for characters and some thoughts about different criteria like the sound of names, their meaning and catchiness.
Please excuse my poor English. I had to translate the whole thing and I hope you can understand my grammar.

includes: 1 × tutorial (750 px)


_____


PREMIUM CONTENT
It includes the tutorial in higher resolution.

includes: 3 × tutorial (1000 px) + 1 × tutorial (750 px); English version


_____


newest version: 1 / 07-14

Add a Comment:
 
:icona-sly-fox:
A-Sly-Fox Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
Great article. I would also like to point out that one should consider the modern associations accompanying names. For example 'Dutch' use to mean from German descend but has been bastardized into it modern meaning of being from lower German of Netherlandisch descend. Another example may be the name 'Rick' which at one point might have conveyed the presence of a mighty and/or powerful ruler but this meaning has all but faded away. The name Rick has a light and idle (almost childish) tone to it which is why no modern King has been named Rick for quite some time now.

I would also like to compliment you on your beautiful editorial design! May I ask which typeface (font) you used for your bodytext and headers respectfully?
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Student General Artist

Thank you. Yes, you're right; the meaning of a name changes and also associations connected to it (sometimes even how popular and frequently used a name is can already change its effect on listeners/readers). But this "evolved" meaning can be very vague and that's why I would always start with the original meaning and go from there.
Rick might not be a fitting name for a king, but its full version Richard (because the original words rihhi (rich) and harti (hard) still have the appropriate meaning and feel to them).

Thanks. The font for the continuous text is Permian Slab Serif and for the headlines and highlights it's FKneoz.

Reply
:iconrik-akeront:
rik-akeront Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014   Digital Artist
Great idea. Cool set of classified symbols, sounds and associations, thank you! :thumbsup:
I understand English is not good enough, but this article I was able to to read and I think it is useful and interesting.
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks :)
I'm happy that my English is good enough that people are able to understand it.
Reply
:iconrik-akeront:
rik-akeront Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014   Digital Artist
:nod: :handshake:
Reply
:iconmeoagcat:
MeoAgcat Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I just realized that I unconsciously applied the "sound" and "look" thing on some character names before. This shed a new light on it. I'm going to remember this from now on! :D
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
I think this is something we all do. The sound is one of the most direct things we use to communicate, followed by the look. We subconsciously find appropriate sounds for things most of the time, but sometimes we lose them by trying to press them into fitting names without thinking about preserving the sound or look.
Reply
:iconmeoagcat:
MeoAgcat Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wise words right there. :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconhayatedragoon:
Hayatedragoon Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is unusually in-depth and you bring up some helpful ideas I would have never thought of! Thanks a lot for sharing your insight.
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you. It's either in-depth or it's one of the walls of mumbling I usually create.
Reply
:iconsinsyne:
Sinsyne Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This was genuinely helpful for me and pointed out quite a number of things that I'm going to be looking out for in names I pick. Now I'm probably going to go back to my other characters and see how their names fit in.
I feel like names are complex enough that there should be classes or books dedicated to this topic alone. Especially for things like the beginning of the tutorial where you mention how the sounds of the letters can add their own meanings to the name, which was something I hadn't even realized I was doing with some of my characters.
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
You don't need to rework names if you feel they're fitting. Most of these tips are only for testing questionable names or for coming up with new names.
There're books on names, but they usually concentrate on their meaning and origin or the development of different naming systems.
Sounds are an intuitive aspect. Usually we already use appropriate sounds even without knowing. I think I forgot to mention in the tutorial that sounds change in different situations depending on the type of emphasis (Susi? sounds different than Susi! and different than Susi?!)
Reply
:iconsinsyne:
Sinsyne Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Most of the names I choose I'm not entirely sure about. Once in a while I find a name for a character right away that just clicks but for the other names it's trial and error for me. I'll have several names that I like and won't be able to choose from.
I don't doubt that there are probably several books on names but, as you said, they're more about name meanings and origin. It would be interesting to read a book that focuses more on the letters of a name and how pairing them effects a name or rather the impression the name gives. Something like "The Psychology of Letters in Names" or along those lines at least would be interesting.
The sound of names in different situations is another thing to consider as well. I didn't even think about how a name would sound in different tones of voice. Now I can't help but think of those names that have alternate pronunciations. I can't begin to describe how often I stumble over the name Andrea. I can never remember if their name is pronounced AnDREa or ANdrea. Names can become a complicated mess at times, I guess.
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Student General Artist

I think the meaning of letters goes back to the development of fonts and symbols as early images. That has more to do with typography and how letters are created and what their style and appearance tells about them.

In the end it's about how you want a name to be pronounced. Unfortunately, even in movies actors and writers don't always agree on the pronunciation and a name sometimes changes from scene to scene depending on who uses it. But in the end every reader or listener creates an own version of a name (for example if they've always pronounced a name in a particular way they probably won't change it even if the name is pronounced differently or if there's a really difficult name they pronounce it how they think it works best). You can only "suggest" a pronunciation, but people usually will pronounce it differently anyway.

 

Reply
:iconsinsyne:
Sinsyne Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Student Digital Artist
That is true. Pronunciations are debatable. Not everyone is going to agree on them and with names, it's usually based on how that person prefers to have their name pronounced. When it comes to pronunciations I have been known to make up my own versions of the name, even if it makes entirely no sense for that to be a pronunciation.
There are also those moments were you know how a name is supposed to be pronounced and yet you still pronounce it in a way that is considered wrong. Sean is a good example of that since when reading it out loud, it's easy to read it as it looks rather than how it's meant to sound.

(It's been a long time since I've been on here apparently. I'm sorry if this reply came at random for you due to how late I responded.)
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student General Artist

No problem. I have the bad habit of needing a long time for some responses too :)

If you've been using a name for a long time in a particular way then it sometimes can be confusing or even shocking when you hear its "correct" pronunciation. This has happened to me more than once :D

 

Reply
:iconsinsyne:
Sinsyne Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I've had that happen quite a few times as well. At this point I no longer attempt to say a name unless I've heard what I assume to be the correct pronunciation a few times. I'd feel bad if I pronounced something such as a person's name wrong. xD
Reply
:iconmystalurdimensh:
MystalurDimensh Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Wonderful! Would love it in pdf format, though.
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks. The source material is in PDF, but I'm an evil dictator and the only one who has access to the source EVIL Laughter! 
Reply
:iconmystalurdimensh:
MystalurDimensh Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconkamihanaki:
Kamihanaki Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa dang…
I thought it was going to be another kind of "Think of the meaning but not literally for something that suits the character and think of how many syllables it has" naming tutorial.
I was wrong and incredibly impressed.

Whoa dang… I was expecting something more along the lines of "Think of the meaning you want for your character's name- but not too literal!" and "Think of the parameter when saying the name" and other tips like that.
This was a lot more than I anticipated- and I'm incredibly impressed. I learned a lot from this tutorial, thank you for sharing!
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you. I've actually only read one or two tutorials on names on DA and I wanted to include different possible views to create a broader look on the topic. These may not be all possible criteria, but it's all I was able to come up with.
Reply
:icondiego2528:
diego2528 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
i remenber that writers like tolkien pretty much use this a standar practice in the lord of the ring

so thanks it will be very usefull
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Student General Artist

Thanks, I'm happy if it's useful, although I don't know what process Tolkien uses.

 

 

Reply
:icondiego2528:
diego2528 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
pretty much this, all his elf names are soft and almost lyrical(their enteire langue is one) why the black speech is hideous and horrible, and aside sauramn and sauron, all names are rought, like morgoth
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Student General Artist
Ah I see. Yes you're right :)
Reply
:iconkealialaw:
KealiaLaw Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
This is a very good tutorial ! I think it will help a lot of people, it's so true that character names are sometimes awfully hard to find o_o
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you :) I'm happy if there're some small things in it that help other people.
Reply
:iconkealialaw:
KealiaLaw Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
:D
Reply
:iconshirakei:
Shirakei Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
Hey


I want furry not.....This!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×
20 Purchase Purchased Download Purchase Soon
9.2 MB ZIP File. Includes PNG
View Attachments
Names free-version FK.png
3.8 MB
Names 0-Intro engl FK.png
321 KB
Names 1-Criteria engl FK.png
3.9 MB
Names 2-Example engl FK.png
1.6 MB
Add Your Rating! Thanks for Rating! Change Your Rating

Featured in Collections

Tutorial Writing by HoLeBi-As

For writing by Link-Pikachu




Details

Submitted on
July 20, 2014
Image Size
3.8 MB
Resolution
750×8774
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
1,171
Favourites
85 (who?)
Comments
30
×