What is character Design?

The art of character design is no more and no less than creating someone or something that, taken in the context of its environment, will elicit a belief, reaction, or expectation from the audience about the physical makeup, disposition, and personality of the creation. Why, then, is there such a wide diversity of good and bad character design when the premise is so simple? Figure shows a blob, backlit, standing in a doorway. Figure represents something. Is it a well-designed character? Figure is not a character design. You have no expectations for the object, and it does not elicit much emotional response. Figure though simple and only showing a shadow figure, nevertheless demands something from the viewer. You have expectations, whether right or wrong, about the character. In today’s high-tech environment, there should be no excuse for a bad character design as in the 1953 Robot Monster film. For the most part, we have the means and the budget to create good designs. Now it is up to us, the artists, to learn how to deliver a good design.

Along with the end goal of having a good design, we will always need to consider the practical issues of the character’s design. The most visually appealing design in the world is worthless if it is not useful.


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