as a tool is useful for communicating important visual information about our characters, such as their intents, personality, or their mood through gesture. They are used to maximise the readability of our characters by helping us to achieve clear poses and actions. This outcome may be subtle and not as potent in some artworks compared to others, but silhouette can always be observed in successful characters because they offer viewers with clear visual statements at a glance
You'll recognise these in a blink!
As well as being used to see clearly what a character does with their bodies, silhouettes are useful in helping us to identify who a character is. With this in-mind at the character design stage, we can complement our performances by introducing shapes and forms designed to emphasise certain character traits, which go on to reinforce the actions our characters will be performing.
For instance, Road Runner's long legs and oversized feet are evidently really good for out-running hungry coyotes. Fred Flintstone, on the other hand, may not be as well equipped in that department - the shape language in his design supports this idea with a silhouette that looks heavy, less agile and grounded like a square. While the same is true for squarish SpongeBob - who is conversely very agile and dynamic - he is made up of recurring curve shapes, supported by thin limbs that squash and stretch, and which protrude out from his body dynamically to help maintain his playful and buoyant appeal. As you will have noticed, there are no rules to this stuff, and is often just a process of trial and error combined with tried and true principles.