The Visual Issues of Character Design and How to Communicate Your Ideas
One of the easiest ways to communicate your character ideas is by using comparison. If the character is soft and delicate, make the character round without many angles. If the character is rough and ready, the design should be made of angular shapes.
Here are some other tips:
Working from the general to the specific: Doing this when designing is always well founded. If your character is understandable early on, the greater are the chances of him being understandable as you move along with your design.
Simplify when possible: As in just about everything in life, the simplest statements are generally the easiest to understand. You have no idea how sophisticated your audience may be, but aim for a simple design that will work with all levels of understanding Do not use too many little bits and pieces. You will only confuse your audience.
Remember that the devil is in the details. Don’t overdo it. You recognize your friends by their general look and not by how many freckles they have on their nose.
Build characters out of basic shapes: Just about everything we see in the world around us can be built out of a few basic shapes: cubes, spheres, cones, and cylinders. Try to base your character on these basic shapes.
Test the silhouettes of your character: If the silhouette visually stands on its own, the character design will be stronger.
Maintain consistency in the character’s environment: Variety is the spice of life, but when you are designing characters for the same environment, they should have a similar look and feel. Avoid repeating the same formula over and over again when designing. For example, do not put a beard on every character.