I'm just having a look through my emails with Alberto here to see how the process of designing Nando started for me.
Alberto's description of Nando was very specific so that gave me a lot of focus when I was designing his costume. Adding a little bit of electronics to his costume, however was a bit more challenging. I wanted to keep it very subtle and only hint at cybernetics, while mostly keeping on old worldly feel to him. My wife actually had the idea of giving him futuristic callipers, which was perfect, because it added a cybernetic, yet functional touch that is in keeping with Nando's Character.
I do a lot of research for all my work, and in Nando's case researching a lot of old man faces and specific items of clothing was all a part of the process.
I think it's very important to use reference when designing a character like this. Sometimes most of the character comes totally from the imagination, but having referenced difference elements in preparation, helps me to build a library in my head from which I can draw. And the end result, I think is a more detailed and believable character, and the same is even true for more stylized work.
Clothing is very important to me because that is where a lot of the believability comes from. Characters, even cartoonish ones that have clothes that droop and fold around them in a realistic manner ring more true, I think. Sometimes I think that is what is missing with the way some superheroes are drawn. Their clothing is so tight and perfect that is could never exist that way in real life. And this was important to me when I was designing Nando. His clothing is what convinces us that he is from older times, but that he lives in a modern world and at the same time it helps convince us that he is a part of a rich and detailed world.