I don't think it was miscommunication for most of those things, save all Red Beast Man. In the planning stages in 1981, that's what those characters looked like then. Teela was blonde in almost all of the media, Mer-Man had his 8 back head and Stratos wasn't covered in gray fur.
Not really. What I said was "the likes of DC Teela", meaning all those various depictions of the same character which includes not just her, but also Red Beast Man, Blue Mer-Man, Pink Ram-Man, Green Goddess etc. Those were the results of miscommunication, bad planing, last minute changes in one department, cost-cutting measures, cheap printing techniques, and yes, a bit of laziness as well.