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A character design sheet should have: 

12 deviants said a shaded design and a color palette.
11 deviants said answer 1 but add some extras like weapons or accessories.
7 deviants said both a flat and a shaded version of the design.
2 deviants said only a shaded design but also a simple background.

Devious Comments

cyberdrawn Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2017  Student General Artist
where's the option for "I don't care just make sure I have something to go off of before I try drawing your character"
Foxy-tales Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2017
I consider the flat color design the most important, and i know that due to some complications i had with a character!
the flat color would represent the true colors of the character without light or shades, and is good to understand it on an easier way (i have did some few comms on the past and worked with other's characters)

besides that, a back view could be sometimes important, as well as weapons/accesories
but i know some persons would like to have their refs on another way, it's based on what people need, sometimes may vary!
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