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As I mentioned in my last post Boost your Engagement With These 3 Character Design Tips, I have a detailed chart pairing physical attributes with symbolical and psychological personality associations. If you are looking to for an economical way to symbolically tell your story, this character design trait list is a good place to start.

I got this as a handout while in school at SAE in Byron Bay, Australia. I think they got it from a CGC school in Sydney. Other than that I don’t really know who to credit the original source, I’m sad to say.

Character Design and Symbolism

Body PartWhen small/shortWhen large/long
EyesBlind, Timid, Obsessive, Narrow-MindedYoung, Inquisitive
LashesAssertive, Troubled, ViciousDesirable, Drowsy, Loving
ForeheadStupid, VacucousIntelligent, Nerdy, Wise, Elderly
Hair (male)Conservative, Efficent (Bold = Freaky)Rebellious
Hair (female)Assertive, EfficientFreedom
EarsAttentive, CleverDeaf, Dumb, Elderly, Pixie
LipsPensive, Mean, Un-sensual, QuietSexy, Talkative
Chin/JawSubmissivePower, Strength
CheekbonesWeakBeauty, Officious
NeckNarrow-Minded, Red neck, StrongInquisitive, Elegant, Clumsy
Female BreatsAthletic, ImpishNurturing, Matronly
Male PectoralsIntroverted, Self Absorbed, IncapableNoticeable, Forthcoming, Strong
Arms (thick=protective)Introverted, Incapacitated, MeticulousAble, Capable, Gangly
Hands (thin fingers)Artistic, SensitiveManipulative, Dexterity
Hands (thick fingers)Manual LaborStrong, Powerful
HipsGrace, SwishLazy, Maternal
StomachFitJolly, Voracious
LegsStubborn, Slow, Dominant, GroundedServile, Heplful, Fast
FeetNimble, WeightlessEarthy, Dumb
Hair/FurColorAssociation
Hair/FurBlueHeavenly, Cold, Young
Hair/FurGreenMysterious/ Mystical
Hair/FurBrownTender/ Loyal
Hair/FurYellow/RedEvil
Hair/FurBlackDominant, Evil
Hair/FurBlondDesire, Vague, Vain, Youth
Hair/FurBrunetteCentered, Earthy
Hair/FurPinkEccentric
Hair/FurGreenOut of this world
Hair/FurBlueBanal, Superfluous
Hair/FurSilver/PlatinumPure, Wealthy
Hair/FurGrayMature, Wise
Hair/FurPurpleElderly, Respectable
Hair/FurBlackMelancholic, Aggressive
OtherAssociation
Thin LegsElegance, Ungainly, Gangly
Sharp/Angular LinesMasculine, Negative, Evil, Weathered, Intellectual
Soft/Rounded LinesFeminine, Positive, Friendly, Young, Superficial
MoustacheMacho, Hiding
BeardRespect, Knowledge
GlassesDumb, Self Absorbed, Intellectual
HunchbackOld, Reclusive

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