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  • Writer's pictureDinh Huy Truong

Simple Steps To Design a Mascot From Scratch

If you're seeking ways to enhance your product, I recommend considering a mascot—a secret ingredient that effectively boosts app engagement and significantly improves user interaction.

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In reality, its benefits far exceed its creativities, a mascot actually can attract user attention very well, moreover, with heavy tasks such as upload & download files, synchronization, and transaction, a mascot is particularly helpful to reduce the drop-off rate as well as enhance user experience. Besides, as mascot is enjoyable and form instant connections it becomes ideal content for sharing in your app.

Some benefits of using a mascot

  1. Improve your product/ app recognition significantly.

  2. Attract user attention better than text.

  3. Humanize your product, leading in-app conversation efficiently.

  4. Opportunities for improving the esthetic aspects of UIs.

However, creating a mascot may pose a challenge for novices, as they often struggle to determine where to begin with.

In this article, I would like to introduce you simple steps to create a mascot from scratch along with a case study PUCO mascot.

Ready to design a mascot from scratch? Let’s start!

1 - Discovery: Understanding The Brand & Audience

The first step in designing a mascot is to thoroughly understand the brand and the target audience. This crucial step sets the foundation for the entire design process, as a lack of understanding can lead to significant issues like concept mismatches, inappropriate visuals, and lack of engagement. By researching the brand and target audience, designers can gather essential clues to create a mascot that is good fit to the brand and product.

For example, if the target audience is the high-school students, a cartoonish and adorable mascot is an excellent fit that can significantly enhance engagement. High-school students often respond positively to playful and relatable characters that add a fun and youthful energy to the brand.

2 - Conceptualisation: Define Personalities and Forms

Based on research on the previous step, let’s write down the desired characteristics of the mascot, e.g: bravery, candor, friendliness...

Next, let’s try to connect these traits to imageries in your mind. For example, "fast" might evoke images of a rabbit, lightning, an airplane…

These visual references are valuable for shaping the mascot's appearance, shape, colour, and overall design. This step ensures that the mascot's attributes are visually represented in a way that resonates with the target audience and the product.

Design Mascot, Dinh Huy Design, Dinh Huy Truong
Mapping Personalities to Images

3 - Initial Drafts: Sketching Out Concepts

The ultimate purpose of this step is to explore a wide range of concepts using the visual references and creativity. Start with basic shapes like squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles, and gradually add details that well represent for the mascot's personalities.

In this step, do not fall into every detail and do not afraid of mistakes, if it does not look good, try again until you think your sketches are good to go with. This approach encourages experimentation and innovation, allowing you to discover unique and compelling designs. It's important to focus on variety and flexibility at this step, as this will lead to a richer pool of ideas to refine in later steps.

4 - Finalisation: Adding Details and Colours

Now, it's time to develop a comprehensive concept. Let's pick the most favourite sketch and start adding details as well as colours.

a. Adding Details

"The first step is always the hardest". From my observations, many designers are often struggling in this stage, they believe that they lack the ability or talent to draw. However, drawing and painting a simple character is not as hard as you think, all that you need is practice, practice, and practice, gradually your hand can visualize exactly your imagination. Also, my advice for this case is patient, diligent, and believe in yourself.

To improve drawing skill, you can start from lines, curves, and simple shapes drawing, then level up to complicated and mix objects.

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PUCO Initial Sketches - 1
design mascot, dinh huy design, dinh huy truong
PUCO Initial Sketches - 2

B. Define Colour Schemes

The colour scheme for a mascot should align well with the branding colour scheme to ensure consistency and recognition. Normally, clients expect a mascot to adhere to their established branding colours. However, if flexibility is allowed, you could consider using colour harmony principles to find a proper colour scheme.

In my perspective, I highly recommend to use 3 combinations below

a. Complementary

The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. This color scheme must be managed well so it is not jarring.

b. Analogous

Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

c. Split-Complementary

This color scheme has the same strong visual contrast as the complementary color scheme, but has less tension.

An example of PUCO colour schemes and the comprehensive mascot.

Bringing The Mascot to Life

Now, it's time to apply and integrate your mascot to your product and brand.

design mascot, dinh huy design, dinh huy truong
Mascot With Logo

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Mascot In Various Forms

In conclusion, creating a mascot is a creative strategy worth considering for your product or app. This article aims to provide you with a step-by-step guide to mascot design, including advice, tips, and practical examples.

Hope this article provides you with valuable insights and practical steps to design an effective and engaging mascot for your brand and product. 😉


Dinh Huy Truong

Founder of Pint of Design Community

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