This is a helpful pdf containing a few quick character design tips from the Paperwings podcast:
In summary they look like:
- Surprise me: try creating contrast between appearance and personality.
- A strong silhouette is everything: think in terms of shape and size and become familiar with visual cues for particular character types.
- Don’t waste your time with turnarounds (unless you need orthographic images for modeling) – expressive and acting poses will tell you more about the character.
- Get rid of your cable: Avoid character cliches and arbitrary accessories that distract instead of enhance.
- Find the power center – this influences the way that the character carries her/him -self.
Most importantly – the inside, thought and emotion, always affects the outside, the physical. Always design from the inside out.