Howdy! I want to talk a bit about designing the characters, which was the work of several people.
Our primary goal was to cover each of the main high school stereotypes (jock, cheerleader/preppy, goth, and nerd) in our 4 main characters. We really embraced a lot of the most common archetypes; nerd wearing glasses, goth having long black hair. They also emote in ways consistent with their stereotypes.
Equally as important, each character has their own combat style and instruments/weapon. There are smaller elements in the character design to reflect this (such as harmony’s fanny pack being an arrow holder).
We wanted diversity in terms of body type and race. Each character also has a main color (red, blue, yellow, green) for readability and to give the characters even more personality. The color palettes are kept to a minimum for this reason. We also wanted to include a character symbol to further distinguish them.
Over time, they continue to go through several redesigns to simplify them, making their designs cleaner and more recognizable.
One of the early character slides in our art bible.