Mascot Logo Design For Gaming Brands: An Illustrative Guide For Designers

Unsplash/Harpal Singh

Adding custom mascot logos to your gaming design is a great way to attract eyeballs. If the design is effective, this would set you apart from the competition and result in increased interactions in your market.

In this article, I discuss how mascot logos are designed and even provide pro tips to help you create great mascot logos for your brand.

The Mascot Logo Characterization Process

Each designer follows a different process when designing a mascot logo. But the primary steps remain the same:

Discovery

All mascot characters start off as ideas. Your idea of the mascot might come from an individual or a committee. Once you have an idea, you take it to the mascot design company where the idea is conceptualized. The client’s ideas, when put together, form what’s called a Creative Brief. Every design company has a Character Planner whose main job is to dissect creative briefs and listen to and try to understand the client’s needs. Once these needs are understood, a rough sketch is made.

Pro Tip: When choosing a mascot character, you’ll need to pick between human, animal, and object characters for your logo. To demonstrate I picked these mascot logos from my company website:

mascot logos
Image credit: Logodesign.net

Our advice is simple:

  • Choose a human character: If you want to promote yourself as a person. Freelancers, public speakers, and athletes, for example, do very well with human characters.
  • Choose an animal mascot: If you provide a service/product that can be associated with animals or if you want the visual appearance of your mascot to be associated with the values of a particular animal. If you sell milk for example, you can have a cow mascot.
  • Choose an object mascot: If you sell a product that’s easy to visualize or provide a service that can be associated with an object. A real estate agent, for example, can have a house mascot.

Excellent examples of human mascot logos are the KFC and Captain Morgan logos. For animal mascots, the Duracell Bunny and Jaguar logs come to mind. And, for object mascots, Poppin’ Fresh and M&M Spokes Candies are good examples.

Sketching

In most design companies, two or more artists are assigned the concept and tasked with creating a sketch in their own understanding, inspired by their own creative talents. The sketches are almost always done by hand using pencil and paper. Remember that sketches aren’t the final design. A sketch can be revised multiple times to arrive at the final design. If you have any input, such as suggestions about facial expressions, those ideas will be taken up and included in the new (revised) sketch — until everyone is happy.

From our experience, to make your mascot as relatable as possible, you need to invest heavily in the features. Minor details such as skin tone, size of the eyes, and shape of the mouth/ears, can make all the difference. For this reason, we recommend playing around with shapes and proportions. If you feel that your audience would connect more with the character if it has a bigger than usual head, long nose, or muscular arms, then so be it; give them what they want.

Coloring

After creating a sketch of the mascot, the next step is to color the character. This happens in two main stages; vectoring and rendering.

Vectoring is the process of digitizing a design as points and lines. It is a crucial step in graphic design as it allows you to scale the character (make it smaller or larger) without losing quality. The result is that you can produce smaller mascots for calendars and other small-size applications and generate larger mascots for billboards and other large-size applications.

Rendering, meanwhile, is the process of adding color and shading to the design. Before adding the actual color, though, you must decide whether or not you want the mascot to have an outline. Most clients prefer black outlines. After you’ve decided on the outline, you can choose the mascot color. There are two broad coloring options to choose from; flat color and gradients.

Flat color means solid ink coverage without gradation, screens, or halftones. The color can be anything; bright, dark, pastel, etc. Most cartoons and comics of yesteryears implement this color style. Gradients, on the other hand, allow you to shade your character with a more contemporary look and feel that adds depth and boosts perception. A mascot with gradient coloring looks like it has a light source and shading.

Delivery

Once everything is done, the full-color mascot logo is delivered. Some design companies prefer to deliver the designs in multiple vector and bitmap file formats alongside a beautiful full-scale color version of the mascot logo so you can use the design for multiple applications.

Mascot Logo Characterization Tips

After finding a great design partner, the next step is to create the right mascot character to win over customers. The following design tips should prove helpful;

  • Reflect your brand personality: Is the logo good enough for your gaming brand? This should be the overarching question. In design circles, they say that “if the design can spell out the name, then you have a great design.” As we discussed under sketching, the difference lies in the details. For example, if you’re using a female human character, you can choose to have the hands on the hips to show what type of person you are. For a male human character, meanwhile, you can choose to have the hand behind their head or touching their mustache, to show that the character is deliberating. A smile would also showcase a different type of personality from a wide grin, while the different accessories or clothing items also change the character’s persona.
  • Pick the fonts wisely: Typography can make or break logo design. It’s critical to maintain the right balance between the legibility of the font and its appeal. Opt for fonts that look beautiful to draw the viewer’s attention, without compromising the readability of the text.
  • Choose the perfect graphic: Most gaming logos are graphics rather than images, and gaming consumers like it this way. In any case, most video games are based on computer graphics. Ideally, find a designer that has lots of example designs, choose a template, and add a few elements to the design to personalize it.
  • Select the right design style: There are many visual design styles to choose from, with the most popular styles being; 3D, Vintage/Retro, Abstract, flat design, minimalist, and grunge. 3D gives an illusion of volume and depth, retro gives us a taste of the recent past and is reminiscent of the 19th century, and abstract styles are personal and individualistic. Minimalist and flat designs are almost similar, with most requiring very little eye-pleasing aesthetics and color schemes. Finally, grunge is considered a subcategory of retro and incorporates gritty, dark, Gothic style.
  • Make wise color selections: This is also very important. Different colors evoke different emotional responses from viewers. The colors you choose for your mascot logo will, therefore, determine how well your game is received in the market.

Don’t Forget Mobility

The majority of video games are now played on mobile. Therefore, when designing your mascot logo, don’t forget to make the final design mobile-friendly.

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Tarif Kahn is Head of Design at LogoDesign.Net who loves sharing his diversified pool of knowledge in graphic design, web design and development.

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Tarif Kahn

Tarif Kahn is Head of Design at LogoDesign.Net who loves sharing his diversified pool of knowledge in graphic design, web design and development.