What Is a Character in Graphic Design?

A character in graphic design is a two-dimensional illustration, often used to represent a person or animal in an animation, comic book, advertisement, or other graphic design project. Characters can be created from scratch or adapted from existing designs. They can be used to create a unique look for a project and can be used to tell stories, convey messages, evoke emotions and create brand recognition.

The process of designing characters begins with concept art. This art serves as the foundation for the character’s visual identity.

Concept art involves sketching out ideas for the character’s physical appearance, such as their body type, facial expressions and hairstyle, as well as their clothing and accessories. Once the concept art is approved by the client or team members involved in the project, it is time to move into production illustrations and rendering.

Production illustrations involve creating an illustration of the character that will be used in final artwork. This illustration should accurately reflect the character’s physical appearance and personality traits as determined by concept art.

During this phase of development, different poses may be explored to determine which will best convey the desired emotion or message of the project. Additionally, details like color palette and texture are added at this stage to help bring the character to life.

Rendering is another important step in creating characters for graphic designs projects. Rendering involves adding shading and highlights to the production illustration to make it look more realistic.

This shading should accurately reflect how light would interact with an actual object using shadowing techniques like ambient occlusion and color maps. Rendering may also involve adding textures like fur or scales to give more depth and realism to a character’s appearance.

Finally, characters must be animated if they are intended for use in an animation or game design project. Animating characters involves creating frames that show how they move through space over time using keyframing techniques or motion capture technology (or both).

Animators must also consider how different elements like lighting will affect a character’s motion over time when creating frames of animation.


Character design is an important part of any graphic design project because it helps bring stories and messages alive through visuals that evoke emotion and create brand recognition for clients or teams involved in the project. It involves concept art, production illustrations, rendering techniques, and animation depending on the nature of the project.