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How To Design Characters For The Web?

October 10, 2020 |
Brand & Identity, UI Design, Web Design
Design Characters

Drawing a character is one thing, but designing your own design characters is a bigger challenge. You need to understand the style they’ll fit into, who they are, what they’ll be doing, and what will simply look good. Being familiar with the best character design tips can help you use illustrations in web design in a smart way. Whatever solutions excite creative minds, the illustrative approach has always found its way to the web design sphere—whether we were all obsessed with flat principles or digitally reproduced real-life objects.

Using illustrations in web design has its own trends. For instance, showing cartoonish design characters in the hero section prevails nowadays. That’s because both old and young people love cartoons. They are not simply a fun or pleasant way to while away the time. One of the most important elements of good character design is simplicity. Simple character design means that more time can be spent polishing the entire scene or drawing other frames of animation.

Here are some of the best tips that will help you in designing amazing design characters for your websites:

Know Your Target Audience

At the start of your character design process, decide on who your character is trying to appeal to. Design Characters meant to appeal to small children, for instance, often have bright colors and are designed around the use of basic shapes.

If you’re designing characters for a client, often many elements are already decided. Understanding who your character’s target audience means that you can figure out how to design a character based on that audience’s tastes.

Be Human

Whether you have an online service that lets tech-savvy people be more efficient or just a web application that helps ordinary people run their businesses without hustle and bustle, chances are those people might find themselves confused while exploring your website.

To overcome this obstacle, use human design characters engaged in daily situations. The human touch in a “cold” digital environment will certainly make the website familiar to the user. 

Add Some Personality

While an interesting character design can make for some nice artwork, it isn’t enough. Work out a personality for your character. This is a great place to start, as the character personality often provides some great character design inspiration.

Make sure the character’s personality is at least as interesting as their appearance. It doesn’t have to be agreeable, but it does have to be interesting. A lot of the character’s personality will be revealed through reactions and interactions in animations and comic strips. It can also be shown simply in the way the character is drawn if this is a static mascot or something similar.

Be Crystal Clear

Sometimes all you need is to be absolutely honest and straightforward. In the case of website design, it is all about clarity. We all appreciate intricacy in projects. However, there are some situations where obviousness is preferable. What you see is what you get is the first rule of good relationships with the online crowd. Besides, this principle is also the foundation of one of the best character design tips you need to know about. To avoid confusion in the first place, you should use an illustration that clears things up from the first seconds.

Use Funny Animal Mascots

If, on the contrary, your business is self-explanatory and doesn’t need any introduction, you might want to make it stand out from the crowd with the help of smart character design. This is when a funny animal mascot can save the day by turning a banal website into an enjoyable project.

Funny animal mascots lighten the mood and make the atmosphere cheerful and pleasant. And, it lures viewers in with its outstanding charisma.

Use Colors Wisely

Color also does a lot of work in communicating a character’s personality. Normally, people associate darker colors like black, purple, and gray with bad or at least more shadowy types of design characters.

Lighter colors like pink, white, blue, and yellow are more often associated with good guys and pure intentions.  Bold red, yellow, and blue lend themselves to heroism thanks to a lot of use in comic books.

Don’t Forget to Add Facial Expressions

Even grotesque or very inhuman design characters can have facial expressions. Facial expressions depict the character’s attitude about the situation.

You can have muted or explosive expressions, depending on the personality you’re dealing with, but a dull neutral face rarely makes for good character design.  If you’re creating a character for animation or comics, you’ll need a sense of their facial expressions in a wide range of situations.

Try And Associate With The Audience

Unless you are building a website that concerns burning social issues such as famine or natural disasters, the playful factor is your loyal friend in a battle of winning over clients. You can create a playground where dynamic canvas lies at heart, but if you need to employ illustrations you can always try to use associations.

In such a way, you will give people some food for thought and remind them of some good moments that evoke positive feelings. Create a unique website where messages are skillfully supported by witty illustrations. 

Use a Superhero to Boost Confidence

Let’s be honest, we are used to equating ourselves with cartoon heroes: saving the world and doing all the incredible stuff. Even though we are now serious grown-ups, we all know that childhood habits die hard. And, we can use this for our good.

Cartoonish characters, especially superheroes, inspire confidence in people on a subconscious level. You can trigger this effect by using a hand-drawn self-portrait enhanced with some hero features.

Experiment With Various Styles

The illustrative approach is one of those things that have the ability to cooperate flawlessly with various mainstreams. Depending on the purpose and theme of your website, you can use different types of illustrations especially nowadays, when diversity is highly praised and appreciated. Take a look at two fantastic examples that prove this in practice.

Read more about Style Guides for building a brand here

No matter how simple your character design is, question every choice you’ve made. In fact, this is even more important for simple character designs because these characters already have so few features. Characters are powerful tools. They are able to enhance and enrich user experience but still retain their playful and adorable nature. 
Talk to our team and discuss your design requirements.

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