How a character is designed

From shows targeted to preschoolers, to mascots for companies, this is the typical character design process I take clients through. Designing a character  is a collaborative endeavor. We'll work together to make something special, and we'll have fun doing it.  

Lil Marshawn for Marshawn Lynch's seattle-based Chocolate bars

Lil Marshawn for Marshawn Lynch's seattle-based Chocolate bars


PHASE 1: exploration

You'll receive a several character explorations based on your direction. What should your direction look like? Include emotions, character traits, purpose, etc. For example, the direction for this image was simply, "We need a friendly robot to walk users through using our equipment."

It can be that broad, or it can be more specific. For example, this bear needed to be young, but motherly, kind of stuffy, but believably hip. It took a few iterations to get here there. 

Feel free to point to other characters you like, or share images that inspire you. This phase usually takes the longest as we go back and forth narrowing down concepts. 

I'll send an invoice before I begin phase 1 for half of my fee. 


Color is an important part of what makes a character recognizable, relatable, and effective. During this phase I'll send you several color explorations. I can incorporate company colors, work off a mood board, follow brand guidelines, or suggest some colors I think will work best. Once you have something you like, I'll firm up the design and add some details. 


This is it, your character is ready! I'll deliver your character in the pose (or poses) requested, supply you with the original files, and prepare any alternate versions requested--like one that tones down detail to work on a small business card. 

Then you'll get an invoice for the rest of my fee, and we'll part ways, super satisfied with a job well done. 


The timeline usually takes a few weeks, as feedback and iterations can stretch the process out. If you need a quicker turnaround, please let me know, so I can give you an accurate quote.