How to design a mascot?

If you are reading this page, you have likely already decided to invest in adding a mascot to your company, school, or organization. Great choice! If you are not yet convinced, you can read our blog here to find out the benefits of using a mascot.

Now that you have chosen to create a mascot, the question comes up: how to design a mascot? In this article, we answer this question in two parts. The first is how to choose a mascot that will represent your organization, and the second part is to bring those ideas into a real mascot design.

Character Design Example 1 by Promo Bears
Part 1

How to choose a mascot design?

How to choose a mascot that fits your organization? It helps to spend a bit of time on reflecting why you want a mascot in the first place, and how best to represent that in the design. We suggest thinking in this order: WHY, WHO and only finally, WHAT.

1. Why do you want a mascot?

What do you hope to accomplish with your mascot? Where will you use your mascot – online, at events in person, on advertising?

2. Who is the mascot for?

For example, children at community events, the entire student body at the homecoming game, or an eye-catcher for adults to take selfies with at a trade show or conference. Each audience will find different designs attractive. Your audience should play a large part in dictating the expression and personality of your mascot design.

3. What will your mascot be?

Finally, the fun part, thinking more concretely about WHAT your mascot will be. What kind of mascot fits with your answers to WHY and WHO? Will it be a fierce fighting animal? Or a friendly and cute kid character? Companies and businesses should also consider how to incorporate their logo and branding colors into the character and clothing/accessories.

A fierce fighter at school sports games, or a friendly face at your next trade show? Mascot design will differ depending on your organization and the intended audience and use.

Part 2

How to make a mascot design?

Now you have thought a bit more about what you want your mascot to be. How to get from some brainstormed ideas and sketches into a professional mascot design that can be used? Here are three standard ways to have a mascot design created.

What are my options for creating a mascot design?

Do-It-Yourself Generator

Positive: cheap, or even free
Negative: limited options and individuality

Many mascot generators exist online. Mascots designed this way are often very cheap, or even free. However, this route has many limitations. In these generators, you can sometimes get choice on your mascot colors, styles or characters. However, the options remain quite limited compared to other methods. In addition, you are not guaranteed that your mascot is completely original and will not be used by another organization.

Online Freelance Designer

Positive: potentially good value for money
Negative: time consuming and uncertainty on quality

If you are looking for a more professional touch, working with a freelance designer can potentially offer good value. Websites such a Fiverr and Upwork feature listings for hundreds of designers. Sometimes you can find a real gem on these sites. However, scrolling through hundreds of listings and pricings can take lots of time and you cannot always be sure what you will get at the end. If you do decide to hire a freelance designer, make sure you ask for their previous portfolio, so you can get an idea if their style and quality fits with what you are looking for.

Online Design Competition

Positive: many design options
Negative: limited designer contact

Online design competitions try to solve the negatives of hiring an online freelancer. Instead of scrolling through hundreds of listings to find the right designer for you, and online design competition features dozens of designers working on the same creative brief from you. The designer of the mascot you choose “wins” and received a cut of the price you pay for the competition. Prices for running a competition vary depending on number of designers partaking, and their quality (some websites will pick only ‘expert’ designers for your competitions for a premium price). This way you get to see many different options at once. However, this option could also be time consuming if you are reviewing dozens of submissions. You may also get less opportunity for direct communication with the designers in a competition as opposed to working with a designer or company directly.

Mascot Company like
Promo Bears

Positive: expert advice and quality
Negative: potentially limited styles options

Working with a mascot company has many advantages but first let us address the potential downsides. With a mascot company you may be limited to only one style or designer for your mascot. At Promo Bears for example, our design team includes three designers that can create completely custom characters from scratch. Our variety is limited if compared with a design competition with dozens of different designers. Despite our small team, our designers look to be flexible and can still offer a range of style options.

The main benefit of working with a mascot company is having a partner to guide you throughout the design process. If working with a freelancer or design competition, you should have clear answers to the questions in Part 1 before beginning the design process. Designers can be talented in their art, but not necessarily knowledgeable in how to maximize a mascot impact, or what would fit for your organization and needs.

A knowledgeable mascot company should be able to give you advice and options if you are not exactly sure on what direction to take. At Promo Bears, a dedicated project manager will first discuss your mascot ideas and goals, essentially creating a first creative brief that will be well understood and executed by the design team.

Extra tip: design revisions

Mascot companies also often offer more communication and revisions throughout the design process. Whether you are thinking about working with a freelancer, design competition, or a mascot company, always ask how many free revisions are available. At Promo Bears, our first mascot designs are completely no-obligation with unlimited revisions. Our goal is to make a mascot design that you fall in love with and cannot wait to bring to life as a mascot costume, inflatable, plush toy and more.

What can we do for you?

Bring your mascot to life

We hope this blog has helped you to understand the different options available for mascot design, and the factors to consider in making the best mascot for your organization.
Affordable – Premium Quality – Free Quote & Concept Artwork