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Article:“How to design a compelling character that tells a story”

Author: Magdalina Dianova

Author summary:

Magdalina Dianova is a self taught, freelance artist currently working as a character designer at Dreamworks TV.

Article summary:

    They key takeaway from the article is having a strong focus on story and how that will help inform the design choices.  Dianova stresses the importance of understanding the character being designed.  The story and personality of a character will give direction on where to take their design and certain choices to make.  Since every choice has to be necessary, you have to think about what each aspect of the character says and ask if that choice properly reflects the character themselves.  It helps in research and where you find inspiration from to design the character.  In order for the character to seem more three dimensional, you need to treat their personality like that of a real person.  That includes thinking of the positive traits of the character, as well as the negative aspects.  This is a key process in merging writing with designing.  You need to make sure the design makes sense and will be able to follow the story of the animation. One other key part of achieving this is the color of the character on top of the appearance.  This shows the importance of color thumbnailing.  The colors are observed immediately while the costume takes a bit more time to look at and take in.  


Dianova, Magdalina. “How to Design a Compelling Character That Tells a Story.” 3dtotal, 29 Aug. 2019,

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