Been mulling around in my head for a while, but this is something that shows up everywhere.
You have a Five-Man Band
, a group who is defined by their roles and quite often their physical size and appearance. You want these characters to be memorable, so you make them as different from each other in appearance as possible. The Hero
is muscular, The Lancer
is slender, The Big Guy
is really huge, The Smart Guy
is really small and oversized glasses, The Chick
has all the right curves, etc.
And this can go in almost any number of directions. Make their silhouette identifiable. Have it all be Color-Coded for Your Convenience
. Make it a Five-Token Band
, even if all you know about the guy is that he's "The Mexican one" that's a lot better then "the other white guy."
- Batman's silhouette is as easily identified as his appearance, most of the time it is the same thing as his insignia. Part of it is intentional, when his body and cape casts a shadow even the mooks know he is there.
- Indiana Jones. He walks into a room and you know it is him. You see his shadow and you know it is him. You can see him in a crowd and know which one he is on a bridge.
- Scrubs had all the people in the hospital seperated into colors: white lab coats or blue scrubs for medical doctors, green scrubs for surgeons, pink (or purple) scrubs for nurses and the maintenance crew were black. Even then J.D. usually wears a different shade of blue than most of the other doctors. The Todd always has his sleeves ripped off to show his "guns." Doug wears a much lighter shade of blue along with a red fanny-pack.
- Gears of War designed The Hero Marcus as having the default armor style for the game, with everything else being derived from his design. For Dominic they gave him a shoulder light as well as a knife on his chest to give him a different silhouette. Cole has his arms bare and Bairds' armor is blue, plus he has blonde hair.
- Transformers does this quite often, most especially when the toy designs were actually for the franchise and not repackaged from other toy lines. There are still some things you don't mess around with, such as Optimus Prime's chest windows. In fact, since most of the other Autobots have the front grill of the car become their chest, having the front windows become his chest is what makes him visually unique and thereby the leader. With Transformers Animated, the design is so unique that all you need is their outline and you can see the Autobot line-up.
- Gargoyles come in all shapes and sizes. None of the main crew have the same color scheme, same wing design, or even the same face. In fact, seeing that Angela had Goliath's coloring but Demona's appearance tipped Elisa off that she was Goliath's daughter.