Character Drawing

What makes a good character, and how can I design my own?
IllustratorAdobe IllustratorLogosCharacter Design TipsTutorial VideosCharacter DrawingsVector Character

character at whiteboard

Characters can be used in a variety of situations, making appearances as logos, narrators, and illustrations. They can add humanity to your product or convey a sense of narrative. They also need not be overly complex to be effective, with many of the most famous character drawings being relatively simple combinations of basic shapes (e.g., Mickey Mouse, Calvin & Hobbes, Snoopy, Mr. Peanut, the Kool-Aid Man).

icons should value appeal, then retention, then comprehension

In terms of ARC, characters should primarily be appealing in order to add personality and bring interest to your product. If you are planning on using the character in multiple settings, then it should also be memorable—emphasizing retention, followed by comprehension.

For this project, you will create a vector character on a background. Both will need to be original vector drawings and can be simple (e.g., comprised of basic shapes). Your character can also be a vector version of a famous character or person (e.g., Wonder Woman, Galileo) if you desire, but just realize that this might influence what you can do with the character later on (in terms of copyright).


Create your own, original character and background using Adobe Illustrator or another program.



Tutorial Videos

How to Draw a Face in Illustrator

Watch on YouTube

How to Draw a Body in Illustrator

Watch on YouTube

Evaluation Criteria

  Unsatisfactory Basic Competent Professional
Color Color is not used or is distracting, disharmonious, or confusing. Color is used in a non-distracting manner ... … that enhances visibility ... … and enhances meaning and aesthetics.
Characterization The character is missing key features or is indiscernible as a character. The character is readily discernible ... … includes necessary features (such as eyes) ... … and is aesthetically pleasing.
Background A background is not provided. A background is provided ... … that aligns with the theme of the character ... … and enhances aesthetics.
Difficulty The character and background reflect an extremely low level of difficulty. The character and/or background reflect a somewhat low level of difficulty. The character and/or background reflect a moderate level of difficulty. The character and/or background reflect a high level of difficulty.

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