Mascots are known as the symbol of luck, and they started gaining popularity in the business world around the late ’90s. Nowadays, you can remember a number of famous brands by their mascot design because it is a part of marketing strategy and one of the most vital elements which take the huge responsibility of brand image. As per your business and target audience, you need to create a character that plays the role of an essential bridge between your brand and audience, through which your customers can get easily associated with your company. A mascot can have many different purposes, and as per the brand and its objective designer needs to work accordingly. It is a very critical process that requires in-depth knowledge about the market, company, trend, and audience behavior.
Here, to give you some advantage in your process, our experts have explained 11 tips for designing a perfect mascot. With these tips and efficient creativity, you can surely develop an amazingly unique mascot that helps your brand fulfill the marketing purpose.
1. Purpose Of Your Mascot:
When you are designing a mascot character for your brand, the first thing you need to consider is the purpose of that character for your brand. You can not go generic about this because it is the fundamental aspect of your whole mascot design. To clarify the purpose, you need to find answers to questions like why your brand needs a mascot? Where you want to use this mascot? And how you want to use this mascot? Once you get the clarity about your mascot’s sole purpose, it becomes easier for you to start with. You can get the required elements and remove the unnecessary clutter from your design. Your vision for your design and the organization’s vision about the end-use should be on the same page to get the expected mascot design within calculated time and energy.
2. Do Not Start Without Strong Research:
A mascot design has a vital purpose and massive impact on a brand image. So, you can not start on the foundation of half data or basic research when you are designing one. You need to have all the facts and data clear on your mind. Two things that require deep research for a perfect mascot are research about the audience and research about the brand’s marketing scenario. Your mascot is going to become the face of your brand, so that is the primary communicator of your brand. Eventually, your customers would get associated with your mascot character in a big way. So you must get into your customer’s shoes and understand their behavior and perspective about your product and market.
If you want to create a perfect mascot that builds an effective bond with your customer, you should know your customers’ emotional, psychological, and behavioral patterns. Mascot design is not a design that you can deliver on a shallow base of information; it does require a solid, reliable foundation of research.
3. Type Of Your Mascot Character:
Another important thing you need to decide is the type of your mascot character. There are primarily three types of characters- a human character, an animal character, and an object character. As per your product and purpose, you have to decide what can represent your brand in the most promising manner. If you want to present yourself as a person, then going for the human character is the best choice. Suppose your product or service can get associated with some animal, or you want to showcase it passively with some animal’s nature. In that case, selecting an animal character can surely fulfill the purpose. Or suppose if your product or service is having a direct relationship with some object, then select an object as a character and keep your mascot straightforward and easy to understand.
4. Unique Features:
The best tip to create a perfect mascot is the focus on the small details of your character. You can see unforgettable human and animal characters in your industry from the top brands. So when you want to design for your brand, you must focus on your character’s small features, which can make your mascot design unique from others. The facial characteristics, expressions, type of graphic, size, area, extra props, and many small features complete your mascot design and differentiate it from the competitors. Your mascot design is way complicated than just a cartoon character.
The appearance, personality, expressions, and connectivity that your mascot character carries have a straight and direct correlation to your brand image. So, make sure the features you include to make your mascot unique must be concerning your product and brand image.
5. Pick Colors Smartly:
The next thing about your mascot design is the colors of your character. As a designer, you must be knowing the importance and meaning of colors in designing. Most color schemes are derived from past trends, and they are effective as well, but you can experiment and come up with something exciting for your design. You can study market trends and common scenarios where you can find some unique options for your design. In the color scheme, you have to decide whether you want to keep plain colors or gradient colors, whether you want to have outlines or not and whether you want to make it in 3D or not. Based on these factors, you can easily decide the colors for your mascot design which can complement your brand image and establish the desired position in your customer’s mind.
6. Take Help Of Sketching And Animation:
To improve your mascot design or get a better perspective for your design, you can take the help of sketching and animation. The sketching process is a part of an old technique that helps you develop a character more meticulously. And animation gives you a realistic image of your character and its movements. Both processes can provide complete guidance of mascot design and its every little detail. You can see what is practically possible in your design and what can make your design better. You can also get to see how your design can look in the end from all angles and on all platforms. Sketching is a process that you perform before designing on software, and animation is what you do after designing a mascot. These are extra exercises that help you get an assurance of your design to benefit your brand image.
7. Decide The Personality:
The personality of your mascot character is an essential subject. No matter how good a designing blueprint is and how well designing elements you are using, if your character’s personality is not suitable for your brand and message, you may have to face results another way around. A character’s personality is an amalgamation of various critical factors like the costume, overall look, skin color, hairstyle, accessories, expressions, facial features, colors, strokes, posture, and font style.
According to your brand and product, you can decide the personality of your character. If you want to connect with your audience on a more emotional ground than your character must be friendly, simple, easy to approach, and positive. If you want to showcase your brand’s dominance, then your mascot must have strong lines, bold colors, sincere facial expressions, and subtle design.
8. Focus On The Brand Persona:
When you are working on a mascot design, you are more likely to get involved in that character’s design. But at any stage, you can not forget that you are not building a character, but you are building an element that has the core purpose of presenting a brand. So, that character design should emerge around a brand and brand personality. Everything that you choose should have some roots in your brand’s image. Your mascot design should have your brand’s personality, which is easy to remember and easy to connect with. The perfect mascot design has a character that is clean to understand easy to memorize. In the end, your character should represent your brand image with a transparent message and without any unnecessary elements.
9. Build the Connectivity and Involvement:
When you are done with your mascot design, you can see how marketing professionals decide to use it in various manners. A mascot character may have to serve many different platforms and areas according to the business strategy. So, in the end, that character needs to draw the audience’s desired involvement and response. It is a designer’s responsibility to design that mascot in a very engaging way. After deciding all the significant elements, you have to place them in a design smartly and creatively to deliver the most engaging and lively character. The kind of personality, expression, gestures, and message delivery you give your mascot design plays a vital role in the front end. If you know, the mascot characters of food chains are always amusing, friendly, and relatable, and the mascot designs of technological brands are generally unique and sophisticated. Still, they all have engaging factors in a common thread.
10. Make It Simple but Unique:
Designing a mascot can involve many different criteria and predefined rules. You may have to deal with a number of constraints while designing a perfect mascot. Mistakes in a mascot design can make you and your brand suffer through serious issues. So if you want to avoid mistakes and don’t want to take any risk, going for basic and classic mascot designs is not a bad idea. But you have to understand that it should be a completely unique design for your brand. You have to make it simple and clean so that it engages with a maximum audience, but at the same time, you want your audience to remember your mascot. Hence, you have to add some unique features to your design to make your mascot stand out and capture maximum attention.
11. Consider the Mobility:
If you know there is a possibility of presenting your mascot character in a live location, then you must consider some essential factors. If your brand decides to use that mascot in any other form, then your design should be able to adapt and perform flawlessly. For instance, if you have a vision of a dancing mascot or want your mascot character to hold things and move around, then your mascot’s personality and get-up should have that mobility implanted. Mascot characters can go on different devices, different mediums, and different locations, so you have to keep in mind every possible flexibility required for your design. It would be best if you considered the mobility and vision factors while designing a perfect mascot. It should have a comfortable costume, scalable file, appropriate size, and practical elements so that your mascot can perform equally on every form.
On print ads, logos, television ads, real locations, and on many other platforms, you can see the wise use of mascot by the brands. Suppose your service or product is falling into a general category. In that case, it may be easier for you to design a mascot than brands falling into a specific category of service and product. A failed mascot design can sabotage your whole branding strategies, but a successful mascot design can boost your marketing performance in a single shot. It is not a necessary element, and not every brand use this. But if you plan to go for it, then you do require an expert team to make the core designing process persuasive. Above mentioned tips is the essence of market experts that can help you work on the right path for your mascot design. So, make sure you take advantage of it and deliver the most competent mascot.