Top Tips on How to Make a Memorable Brand Mascot

By Raquel Addams , Oct 1 2019
brand mascot logo

What comes to your mind when you see Chester Cheetah?

It’s no surprise that character designers are constantly struggling for uniqueness to invent new characters. They are willing to take their inspirations from everything and anything. The new generation of character designers is born out of the avant-garde style of modern artists unlike most designers that come forward because of business needs of the marketing world.

Thinking along those lines, a designer catering to the demand of the marketing world would consider certain requirements in an efficient mascot. A modern day mascot should definitely be memorable, recognizable and original and if it’s a brand logo, it should represent a consistent character. Most character designers would ideally settle for a mascot that is flexible to adapt, and looks good in every medium while performing tasks and displaying emotions. The perfect ingredient for a top of the line character design is its lively attribute. Designers often find it challenging to display emotions with a rather simple mascot.

In this regard, some designers are abstract in their approach while others are precise and methodical. We have identified a pattern on how some of these designers educated the viewers with their designs.

So let’s take a look at tips from character designers to create a mascot logo design.

1) Introduce Gameplay With Pixelated Characters

Super Mario is probably the best mascot to describe how pixelated character design introduces gameplay. An easily recognizable mascot serves as a case study for students of character animation and a reminder for established artists about the importance of character development within the plot of the game. Despite being pixelated, the mascot remains recognizable and takes every one through its story with absolute charm. Can you recall any recent pixelated mascot?

Pixelated Characters
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2) Add Depth To Bring The Mascot To Life

A shallow person can set anyone off. Something similar is true for a shallow mascot. Hence, adding depth is inevitable. But, what is depth? Character designers do not always have 3D renders to achieve this. A simple shadow can do the trick. The key regions where adding a shadow brings a mascot to life are its body and its clothes. Also when character designers have to add dramatic personality shades to a character, they use proper shadows.

Pillsbury Doughboy
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3) Exaggerate Features To Make Mascots Memorable

Ever wondered why most mascots have disproportionate features? The exaggerated body parts get etched into our memory. One of the oldest and the most memorable characters of Disney, Mickey Mouse is popularly known by people of all ages. The character has a lean body but eye-catching ears and gigantic hands that add both prominence and appeal. In the same way, Bugs bunny has larger frontal teeth. But these exaggerations in character designs are not just to make the mascot memorable but also to add a fun shade to their personality.

Mickey Mouse
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4) Color It Unusual

Color is an enabler, especially if you wish to communicate something without words. You will come across plenty of single-colored mascots but there are some with natural skin colors. The choice of color, in this case, determines how much human touch you wish to add to a character. Some mascots are made flat on purpose but an ideal character in this day and age should have gradients and shading. To be honest, some mascots are able to pull off strange color combinations with gradients. Just like exaggerated features in mascots, unusual colors also make them memorable.

Kool-Aid Man
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5) Set The Mascot In Motion

Let the character embody movements realistically. Some mascots are not made to appear as fully animated characters but they have to display some form of movement or animation. However, modern character designs serving as brand mascots have more challenges in terms of movement and activity. Some businesses want their mascots designed for websites alone while others would like to see it in motion for television commercials. Besides serving the purpose of a mascot, a character in motion also creates a partnership dynamic that online businesses wish to establish with their audience and brands wish to establish with their prospects.

6) Avoid An Animal Already Chosen As A Mascot

Mailchimp has a monkey, Geico has a lizard, and Firefox has a fox. Your mascot should be an animal that has not been “cartoonified” yet. The last thing you want is your mascot bearing resemblance to any existing character. Although most people have frequently used a dog or a monkey as their mascot, it has been an exception and not a norm. Unless you have an outstanding character designer with unique ideas, I would suggest you choose a different animal.

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7) Name It Smartly

Giving a name to a mascot logo is like giving it an identity. Without a proper name, the audiences find it difficult to develop a connection. In some cases, the mascot is not just a character but it’s created as a tribute to honor the founder or a team member or to highlight a figure of historical significance. KFC’s mascot is Colonel Sanders who was the founder of the food chain. Another old trick is to give the character a rhyming name. This makes the name memorable and easy to recall. Alliteration is another approach to naming mascots and this practice is common in the naming of school mascots like Andy the Anteater, Troy the Trojan and so on.

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8) Decide A Personality

Start by thinking about the mascot’s facial expression, posture and shape. Once the basic considerations are out of the way, the next stage is to understand its personality attributes. For instance, if the character is too round, it is symbolic of sweetness and gentleness but sharp edged and angled shapes portray a wicked character. For a brand presenting fitness food, the mascot must be lean. As for kids’ product brand, you can expect the mascot to be a little round because younger audiences are able to connect with simple shapes.

kids product brand
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With these tips, you can add more appeal to your character animations that will serve as mascots for a brand. Like Kellogg’s chose a monkey, Monopoly had a rich guy as its mascot, you have to build a story or a connection to make it long-lasting and enjoyable.

So, what are your fond memories of mascots? Share your story with us.

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Raquel Addams is a professional blogger and graphic design enthusiast who employs a unique combination of journalism, communication design and marketing strategy to help her clients to position and launch their enterprise or start-ups.


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