This race of ‘Yankee traders’ evolved over the years from a hostile, opportunistic culture in their early depictions in TNG to a fully structured complex society as seen on Deep Space Nine. While in large measure the characterizations of the Ferengi grew because of Armin Shimerman, Max Grodénchik, Aron Eisenburg, and Wallace Shawn, to mention a few, the characters were also effective because of a collaborative makeup design process.
All through the appearances of the Ferengi on TNG, the makeup department had a one-head-fits-all policy. When Armin Shimerman was cast as Quark, that policy changed. The original heads were relegated to Max Grodénchik, Aron Eisenburg (Rom and Nog) and to the background Ferengi. A newer, larger head was constructed, something that would be more comfortable for Armin to wear. And to make the head appliance more comfortable for him, makeup sculpted holes in the sides of the appliance for Armin’s ears to go through so they wouldn’t have to be flattened. His ears fit inside the ear appliances. The ‘new head’ allowed Armin to stand out.
Eventually two customized heads were developed, one for another Ferengi, Jeffrey Combs, called Brunt, and the female Ferengi, whose ears were smaller than the males’. For the grand nagus, the makeup department started with the basic Quark head appliance and made larger ears and a more wrinkled forehead and neck. Thus the Zek head contains additional pieces that were glued on over the top of Quark’s head so that the grand nagus looks older and far more wizened than either Quark or his brother Rom.
Another Ferengi development concerened the way the makeup department enhanced their teeth. The original TNG Ferengi had sharp jutting upper teeth but straight lowers. In DS9 the makeup department added a set of lower teeth to fill in the gaps in the uppers and give them an even more piranhalike appearance. The designers made moulds for the lower teeth to fit into the spaces between the upper teeth so the characters could talk, even though it affected their speech. The Ferengi also had blue painted fingernails, and Zek was given longer false nails.”
Source: Star Trek Aliens & Artifacts [Michael Westmore et al.] 2000



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