In Faceoff, SyFy channel’s original reality competition show for make-up and effect artists, the characters they create each week all have a story behind it. When an artist gets a challenge of personifying a deadly sin or giving a new spin to an urban legend, they start with their sketchpads and they not only hash out what elements they want to include; They hash out a backstory that will make their entire character cohesive and drive every decision they make, from the skin texture to the accessories. Just like in writing or designing for a brand, everything needs to derive from a single story. It doesn’t have to be as complex as a novel, but the story should act as a backbone for the brand. Just like Faceoff’s character creations, the story should be identifiable without it being blatantly said. The story is written in every part of the character. Otherwise, they just put together a blend of “cool” make-up effects that are convoluted. So when creating for anything, keep the story in mind. If there isn’t one, make one up. Don’t do things just because they’re cool, do it with intent. Do it to tell a part of a story.