I am a concept artist and recently had a job where my client wanted to design a series of characters for a fantasy based story.
The art director sent the first character requirements; needs to have a cape, a hood and a mask in dark colors. I Nailed it. Second character; cape, hood, mask, in dark colors. Sort of nailed it. Third character; dark hood, dark mask, and a dark cape. Okay, this wouldn’t be too bad but the client insisted that the cape cover the shoulders to the thighs on all characters, AND have the same hood and cape style AND prevented me from adding details to the capes that would individualize them…
Client: Just trust me, it makes sense for the story.
Fourth character came around and yup, sure enough, hood, mask, dark cape. I then sent a group shot of the almost identical designs side by side to try and plead my case.
Me: See? I know they have reasons to dress similarly, but you need some way to distinguish them as characters.
Client: Hmm… I see what you mean. Tell you what – in order to make this character different, why don’t you add more hood.
One week later:
Client: We regret to inform you that we will no longer need your services. We feel that your designs are just too similar to each other to even differentiate one character from the next. They are also too dark and the last one has a ridiculous sized hood.