Male Character Design: A Guide to Designing Male Characters

Creating characters is a critical part of preparing your design elements. You want your characters' physical appearance to reflect the characteristics you ascribe to them. Whether you plan to draw your favorite anime character or need to know how to draw a boy character for a book or logo, this guide will help you achieve your goals.

How to Design Male Characters

Start with planning character design for your male characters. Consider:

Who is your character?

What do you know about him? For example, if you are planning a male anime character design, you may already know his hair color, eye color, and build. On the other hand, if you're designing a male character for a logo, you might know something about his personality--often one that will reflect your target audience. 

You want your character's physical appearance to reflect his other attributes. For example, if you are designing a male anime character who is known for his large muscles or prowess with a sword, you may want to include emphasis on his muscles, broad shoulders, or strong, thicker arms. However, if you're designing a male character who is known for skipping the gym, who does not enjoy physical activity, and who prefers to stay in the background or sit down with a good book, you may want to show skinnier arms, more narrow shoulders, and a less-sculpted frame. 

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Adding Masculine Elements

Masculine character design often includes several common elements, based on masculine face structure. From male anime characters to male models, there are several things you can expect from your male characters.

Masculine facial features. Masculine facial features include high-set eyes, a thicker neck, and a longer nose, especially when designing male anime characters. A masculine face also typically has a strong jawline. 

Facial hair. In many cases, masculine characters have facial hair: a beard, goatee, or mustache. Consider whether your character has facial hair and what that might say about him. Thick facial hair can mark your character as more masculine. A beard and full mustache, for example, may suggest that your character often works outdoors. 

Proportion. An adult male usually has a body size that is between seven and seven and a half times the size of his head. The shoulders should be about three times the width of the head, and the overall body proportions are usually blockier and stronger than a woman's body.

Muscles. A male character may display more or less muscle depending on his activities and character. To emphasize those muscles or the character's natural athleticism, you may want to emphasize the width of the neck, arms, and torso, especially if the character wears tight-fitting clothing. 

The waistline. Unlike women, men rarely have a naturally narrow waist. While women often naturally carry curves, male bodies typically have more straight lines. Note that men also have a narrower pelvis than women. 

Add Clothing that Reflects the Character

Choose clothing based on who your character is and what you want him to represent. An anime character, for example, may have a signature color or outfit that sets him apart. A character intended for a logo might prefer a certain type of clothing that reflects his activities: for example, if you're marketing sporting goods, you may want to choose sportswear that is appropriate for the sport your character plays. Your character may need to change clothing as he progresses through a story or he may keep a consistent outfit, depending on the purpose of your character. However, consistency in his outfit can help make your character more recognizable.


Designing your male characters with care can help set them apart and help them look their best. Need graphic design software that will help bring your characters to life? Download a free trial of CorelDRAW and design your male character today.

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