by Jen Lee
I was recently approached to design a mascot for a software company, Computer Lab Solutions (CLS). I am going to admit, this was the very first time I’ve ever designed a mascot. The only order I was given was that they wanted it to be a dame, a ninja dame.
When designing characters I want them to be easy to identify. I never design characters who are meant for animation, but I design within the same rules. This means the design needs to have functional proportions, a silhouette, aesthetic, and be indicative of their personality. Applying these rules to a mascot design came naturally, but there were small differences. A mascot for a company serves its purpose to allow customers to identify with a company. He or she is representing the brand first, with the company’s brand becoming the character’s personality. The company mascot shouldn’t evoke any negativity; he or she should not represent aggression but also not be passive.
From my first sketches I was designing with video games in mind. CLS had decided that the final mascot would be a 3D render, so it didn’t matter too much in which style she was drawn initially.
Avoiding the over-sexualized appearance was easy. There were obvious wardrobe options that I avoided, but apart from that, it didnâ€™t matter too much what she was wearing at this point, but rather her gestures and how I wanted to accentuate her lady curves.
The one to the right was the obvious direction. I wanted to reinforce that this mascot is sleek, smart, and is probably 10 steps ahead of you- what CLS’ brand conveys.
After a general idea of her outfit was formed, it was apparent that her hair was going to do the talking. I played with many styles and decided that pigtails offered the best silhouette in the design, as well as offering a little bit of spunk to match CLS’ personable approach.
The color scheme was determined before even the sketch phase. I wanted her hair color to be straight from the LabStats logo. The orange clearly stands out the best on screen and print.
And there you have it! Stay tuned for the full 3D render.
Jen Lee is a staff illustrator and graphic designer at Star Moose.