Character Design Tips

Here are 10 tips to help you design characters for comics.

Identify your Audience

Know your target audience to tailor your character to it.

A character can be drawn in a simple for an audience comprised of kids.

Use a modern or edgy style for a teen audience.

Characters with more details or drawn in a retro style to appeal to a past era can be used for an adult audience.

Identify your Medium

Create a character according to where they will be published.

For small monitors, like mobile devices, a lot of details will get lost in the presentation.

For comic books, more details can be created and appreciated.

Identify other Designs

Perform research on different character designs created by other artists. Draw inspiration from them.

Differentiate from those styles you find less attractive.

Utilize Unique Style

Use your own style to make the character distinctive.

While the different characters of one project should share qualities, each character should be distinct enough to be differentiated by their silhouette.

Utilize Exaggerated Qualities

First determine how much exaggeration will fit within your project.

Exaggerated features help emphasize personality qualities. It assists an audience recognize important characteristics.

Utilize the Correct Colors

Colors emphasize traits.

Light and bright colors are associated with liveliness and happiness.

Dark, muddy hues colors are associated with evil and sadness.

Provide Personality

Traits can be conveyed in facial expressions and posture.

Provide Props

Clothes and accessories communicate a character’s personality, hobby or job.

Provide Goals

Know what motivates each character. This helps determine how they move forward in a story line.

Provide a Back Story

Understand a character’s past history. Knowing this helps understand the character’s present state and appearance.


If you’d like to add to this list, please do so in the comment section.

Please share this article if you found it useful.

Alex A. Ayala Written by:

Writer, artist and Founder for Comic Indie, with a passion for the art of storytelling, art, and entertainment. By day he works as a Systems Engineer, and by night flying through the universe of Indie Comics.

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