Tsugumi Ohba, the writer of the series, created L as a young adult, since he believed the story would not hold much interest if L were significantly older than his opponent, Light. For L's name, he wanted to use a single letter with a lot of significance; he considered "I" and "J", but eventually he chose "L" after careful consideration. Ohba left most of L's character design to Takeshi Obata, artist of the series. Obata asked Ohba if L could be "unattractive". Afterwards Ohba included ideas in his thumbnails, including L's manner of sitting, "he's English", and "he's listless". Ohba added details regarding L's mannerisms and his interests in sweets. Ohba credits Obata for the character designs. Obata commented that L's thumbnails by Ohba had no bags under his eyes, and that he had a "plain face with no expression" which was very useful. Obata drew L as an "attractive young man" until chapter 11, when the character appeared in person. After chapter 11, Obata and Ohba agreed to contrast his appearance with Light's.