Essentially, clarity is communication. Specifically, clear and effective visual communication.
To think about the importance of clarity, consider what gets in the way of clarity with audio and hearing: Tons of obstacles could get in the way of you not being able to hear someone standing next to you. Loud music could be playing, other people’s voices can be competing with the one you want to hear. Any amount of noise can get in the way. Distractions in thr form of flashing lights or someone else bumping into you. Then, the person talking could be too soft spoken, or their speech could be slurred or mumbled. With audio recording, noise, echo, distortion, reverb, and volume can get in the way.
A lot of these audio obstacles have similarities to visual clarity. Noise, ambiguity, and a lack of defining traits can work against a design’s clarity.
What can work for it, then? What helps a design’s clarity? Really, anything that conveys something to your audience in the quickest and most effective way.
That includes clean and strong use of shapes and shape language. We have built in responses to shapes, wield them to your advantage.
The strength of a pose or posture is also essential to clarity. Your audience is reading your character’s body language, so whatis it telling them? Is there a clean line of action, where every part of the character is working for the pose instead of against it?
Exaggeration plays into clarity, because making something more obvious makes it clearer.
Here’s a principle and practical tip for improving clarity:
Often times a design becomes clearer as it’s simplified. Sometimes our work can become convoluted as we overthink it or are in the process of drawing it. So: redraw it. Draw over it. Find a simpler shape, or a more defined pose. The shortest distance between two points is a line, and likewise the most effective communication is simple communication.