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.
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 designer 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.
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 what 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.
Our work for Jennerstown Speedway started with various concepts and went through revisions until the final mascot design was created: Mighty Moto Mouse!