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Mascot Design 101

Mascot design can take a company’s presence and connection with its target market to a whole new level. Through the use of a personalized mascot, you can create a warm welcome, psych up a crowd, and attach a friendly face to an otherwise neutral product.

Mascots can be funny characters providing lively energy at sporting events. They can represent a company in commercials or in marketing materials. In its most basic sense, a mascot is a living character that represents an organization or brand. It stands apart from its logo but is often used in tandem with it. Mascots can give your brand or sports team a personality and help humanize your organization.

They can also range from personified animals and inanimate objects (think Clippy) or even exaggerated caricatures of people associated with the brand.

When and why to use a mascot

When your brand needs a big personality to represent its bold ideas and presentation, a mascot can help sell it. You can also use simpler mascots to embody your brand when you don’t have a public face for it.

When you have a mascot, a logo design that incorporates it should also get created. For some brands, mascots only exist only in the logo. For others, the mascot could be a physical character that entertains during events or an animated personality that talks in commercials or walks visitors around a website.

Apart from sports teams, brand mascots can be a part of supplementary logos. Where you decide to use your mascot logo affects the design, layout, and colors that will work best in its unique design.

When you’re considering mascot design, you’ll want to look at various factors to determine what type of character you’ll use. Below you’ll find a few of the top considerations when designing a mascot.

What is your competition doing?

When you’re beginning any branding effort, it’s smart to look at what your competitors are doing. What type of mascot are you considering, and what is your industry? If you’re looking for a mascot for a school, you’ll want to check out other schools’ mascots. If you’re in the e-sports field, check out gamers, e-sports companies, and game systems. If you’re looking at something for your clothing brand, analyze the competition in your industry to see how you might stand out and what a customer has come to expect.

It’s important to keep in mind what is expected from a mascot in a particular industry. If you’re choosing a mascot for a university or sports team, there is a type of style you’ll probably want to go with and some you may want to avoid. You also don’t want to just look like a copy-paste of an existing design. The research will allow you to get the right kind of mascot for your brand while being unique and eye-catching. Plus, when you’re working with your designer, this research will speed up the design process and cut back on revisions.

What type of personality should it have?

As the face of a brand, a mascot needs to have a specific personality and vibe. It needs to evoke the right emotion and connect with your viewers in a way that captures your message and mission. You’ll first want to consider what your brand personality is. What does your business represent? What is your organization’s purpose? From there, you can choose the best type of character to represent you. You’ll also want to consider what animals or objects would deliver your message effectively.

You also don’t need to pigeonhole yourself into choosing something ultra simple. Your mascot can be detailed. Think about it this way, if you’re a dog walking service and you want a dog as your mascot, you’ll want to be sure the dog isn’t just a typical lab everyone has already seen. It needs personality. Maybe the dog is being pampered like they’re at the spa, or maybe it’s wearing fitness gear. The sky’s the limit!

Creating your mascot character

Pick an object or animal

Now’s the time to find an animal or character that appeals to your audience. You’ll want something that naturally fits the expectations of your brand and evokes the mood your brand wants to elicit from viewers. Depending on your brand, you may want something cute, safe, fierce, unexpected, or modern. Whatever you choose, consider your audience’s age, habits, and how you want them to see you.

Examine the details

From there, explore color themes and a design style. Be sure each choice has a clear purpose and explanation. You want everything you’re doing to be in support of the mascot’s story, its uniqueness, and its tone.

Think of the use cases

As you design the mascot, think about how you’ll be using it- both alone and with your logo. Think about what you need to develop for the mascot based on how you’ll be using it to represent your brand. Do you need just the head or the entire body? Does it need to move and speak? Consider the character’s applications and range so that when you do use it in other places,  it’s all consistent and makes sense.

Make your design pop

Whether it’s a company logo or a gaming logo, mascot designs need to grab the viewers’ attention. When you see your mascot design, you want to stop and say, “hey, who are these folks? I want to learn more.” But you also want to avoid being too gimmicky or, worse, obnoxious.

While mascots are typically caricatures and exaggerated, they still need to be legible, unique, and easy to take in at a glance. You want something that marries both modern graphic design elements and your brand’s unique personality.

Take a look at how other logos have achieved this to get inspiration for your designs and be sure to include those references in your mascot design project request.

Get your perfect mascot with Flocksy

When it comes to mascot logos, their exaggerated personalities and proportions usually make for a fun image associated with your brand. So, don’t get too hung up on creating something absolutely perfect. Have some fun!

Mascots should be enjoyable to interact with, so work with a professional custom illustrator to bring your ideas to life. With Flocksy brand illustrations, you can start a mascot design project right from the dashboard and see fantastic work in as little as 24 hours.

It’s easy to get started. Just start an illustration project, choose “mascot” as the subcategory, and then describe what you want. Based on your details, one of our artists will design something amazing that you’ll be proud to have representing your brand.

You can check out more of our mascots here in our Portfolio, and you can also learn more about custom brand illustrations here.

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