The Importance of Character Design

Marco McEldowney, reporter


The character. An integral part of many stories. In the visual medium, a character is given life through art, animation, or even live-action filming. When you’re given a visual medium, however, you must make looking at the characters a good experience; you need character design.

A lot of effort goes into designing characters, considering you’ll be having to look at many of them for the entire movie, show, comic, etc., and it often requires more than just making it look cool.

One of the keys to a design is making it convey something about the character; you should be able to look at it and understand what this character’s role is in the story. Visual storytelling is a powerful aspect for these mediums, and if you’re able to understand what a character does by just looking at them, it’s succeeded at that visual storytelling.

Another important aspect is color. Certain color combinations, like red and black, can give an eerie, evil feeling to something. Sometimes, the Grim Reaper is depicted with small red dots for eyes, while wearing a large, black cloak.

On the other hand, yellow and pink are very bright, happy colors. A generic princess design might use a pink dress and yellow hair, especially after the Super Mario series popularized it.

What do students at West think about this aspect of art?

Sophomore Kira Trujilo says, “I believe it’s part of the appeal, but it isn’t everything” and adds that personality and development are important too.

In the answers to an anonymous survey, one student replied, “A good character design should reflect the personality and attributes of the character. It should serve as a memorable icon.”

There’s no shortage of interesting things to do with them, with how diverse art can be. Designing a character is the first step many people take in the journey to a great visual story.




It’s always important to have a basic outline to develop off of, before branching out into more unique and bizarre ideas.

Photo Credit: iStock

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