Is your business in the market for a strong, memorable brand?
By now, you’ve probably heard that the way to make that happen is through a unique and relatable logo – one that can create an unforgettable emotional connection with your audience.
And, if you’re trying to appeal to families, unite a group of fans, or seem all-powerful to your competition, then a mascot logo may be just the thing for you.
Mascot logos are what they sound like – logos that are primarily dominated by mascots, or illustrated characters that are cartoon-like and fun. This type of logo is a strong brand spokesperson, as it often acts as the “brand ambassador” of a business.
What your mascot actually is completely depends on you and the message you want to send to your audience; some elect to go with mythical creatures and abstract beings, while others choose a more realistic figure to speak for their brand.
You can use inanimate objects, like a talking clock, or cartoonized versions of regular people (think the Wendy’s logo) – anything is fair game!
Mascot logos can work across industries, depending on how they’re used and what the brand message is behind them. However, they tend to show up most often in the entertainment sector, as they’re the fun-loving, spirited logo that puts people in the mood to smile.
In this vein, let’s look at some of the niches that thrive on mascot logos:
You’ll find mascots in gaming logos more often than not. From esports to streaming, mascots are usually people’s go-to for intimidating opponents and, in some cases, hiding their true identities from their fellow gamers. Competitive gamers like to go big or go home, and ferocious mascot logos are the way to make that happen.
If you’ve ever been to a professional sports game, you know how easily a mascot can get a crowd – and team – on their feet and riled up. It provides an awesome opportunity for branded merchandise, like hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the character; and, it creates a representative who can take some hits from the audience if a team isn’t performing up to their fans’ expectations.
While mascots are fair game for bands that play any genre of music, more often than not, they’re claimed by indie artists or heavy-metal bands.
Band logos tend to favor extreme design elements, whether through spiky, dramatic fonts or a whole lot of dramatic black, and there’s no exception when it comes to mascots – think intense skull-and-crossbones or exaggerated animal features (Deadmau5, anyone?)
Mascots are the world’s most family-friendly logo, and they’re all over the food scene for that reason. From Lobster Shack to Kellogg’s and Pillsbury, restaurants (including bakeries and cafes) tend to gravitate towards these logos, as they heighten the chances that children will want to eat there and beg their parents to take them along.
The beauty of mascots is that you can do anything you want with them! Creativity is your oyster here, and you can go in whichever direction the wind takes you. However, if you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few popular choices for animated characters:
There are some typefaces that are so creative that they take on a life of their own – in this case, a life with eyes, horns, and a hidden smile.
If you think your business would do best with a monogram logo, but you want to separate yourself from the crowd, you may want to think about ways to turn the letters of your logo into a mascot and combine the two styles.
This is a mascot logo classic, as everyone loves having a furry friend to interact with! Kids in particular gravitate towards these mascots, and they add an approachable, friendly vibe to any brand.
Some mascots stray more to the abstract side, which leaves it up to the viewer to decide what the character is all about. While this carries a little risk (what if your audience doesn’t understand the message you’re trying to get across?) it opens up your logo to interpretation and doesn’t box your audience in to one specific association.
Like we said above, a huge part of having a successful brand is through a memorable logo. And, sometimes people need a little push to remember the name of your business, which is where mascot logos are great. If your business name contains a recognizable object, whether a forest creature or desk ornament, turn it into a living, breathing character!
Sometimes the path to the coolest logos is to go with what you know – real (albeit animated) people! Whether a sly Kentucky colonel (KFC, anyone?) or a sweet, red-haired girl with pigtails (Wendy’s, obviously), having actual people represent your brand can be just as effective as hiring an influencer to do the talking.
If you’re branding for a crowd of global tech disruptors, then the mascot is probably not going to be the right move for you.
Remember, you want a logo that’s going to connect with your audience and reach them on an emotional level, so make sure the lid fits the pot before moving forward. Children, families, and a fun-spirited crowd are your best bet for mascot success.
Mascot logos can often have a lot of detail in the design, which means you may encounter difficulty resizing them. You might want to consider pairing your mascot with a wordmark, or simply leaving it off of business cards and other branded materials that require small print.
Alternatively, you can try using a few geometric shapes (and nothing else) to create your mascot so that it’s more easily resizable.
Have you put thought into how you primarily want to market your business? Mascot logos do great on large billboards or signage, in TV commercials (think the Kool-Aid Man), at in-person events, and on social media pages.
These logos can heavily influence a brand’s imagery, but the fun vibe of the mascot has to match the platform; if most of your marketing centers around formal presentations and sales pitches, for instance, the mascot will probably be less relevant for you.
Because mascots are intended to become well-known figures, it’s very difficult to rebrand after putting their faces into the world; once the mascot speaks for you, it’s more or less there to stay. Therefore, make sure that when you create your logo, you’re doing it with your brand values, messaging, and goals already in mind – and that they align with the mascot who’s representing you.
There’s no shortage of creativity with mascot logos, as long as you’re willing to put in the time. As you design your logo, keep in mind the audience who will be looking at it, the marketing channels it’ll be used on, and the industry in which it will make its mark; all you need is the right character to build a successful, memorable brand!