Mascot design is very popular to increase the reputation of the brand because mascot design is a significant symbolic representation of a brand. Mascot design is for characterizing a personified image to communicate with people. Almost in all sectors, brands are trying to represent themselves as human-centered as possible because the more they characterize the brand substantially, the more they can reach the audience. For this reason, mascot design has become one of the key factors of successful branding companies.

The Personification of the Brand with Mascot Design

Companies are hiring graphic designers specialized in mascot design to foster the design for user experience and marketing goals by having positive feedback from the users and emotional communication between the mascot character and the branding. For instance, the sports teams select an animal figure to define its own identity; it can represent power or consistency and this mascot figure provides definite and visible information to understand the company profile. Therefore, mascots can broaden the horizons of personification by creating unexpected and catchy looks or making characters alive. Hence, the brand can be recognized easily by embracing its identity as a mascot to increase memorability. Mascots can be also easily integrated with logos, interface illustrations, hero banners, stickers, etc.

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The Power of Mascots in Branding and UI Design_©uxplanet.org
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The Process of Mascot Design_©dreamfarmstudios.com

Mascot design is like a sub-branch of brand design because it has some steps to provide an impressive brand history and background. Mascot designing is starting as a normal process of designing architecture, interiors: conceptualization. Mascots should embrace the brand’s identity and structural profile with detailed analysis to gain the best representation. Then, the drawing, and sketching process provides facial expression and clothing of the mascot which can develop alive character. Lastly, the personification of the mascot enables real-life scenarios by adding characteristics to humanize the character such as color, accessories, facial expressions, outfits, and backgrounds.

Emotional Communication of the Brand with Mascot Design

Branding always aims to create an emotional bridge between the users by mascot design. Mascot design is a great way to provide emotional communication because mascots have human-like characteristics and for this reason, people are drawn to them more and feel more connected with the company. For instance, language learning app /site brand Duolingo’s mascots create a new style of visual identity. Duolingo creates its own identity with visual objects to foster learning with visuals and providing animals and humans to create sweet and interesting reactions changing according to the right/wrong answer. It also creates interactivity and reflecting the company’s joyous personality. Mascot design affects not only the branding; it also formulates logotype’s typography use of letters as feather bold type.

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Duolingo Brand_©branding.news
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Duolingo Mascot Evolution_©theverge.com

Mascot design and branding’s strong and beneficial interaction also changes according to the branding and marketing sector. Through the years, the logo design faced an enormous shift towards simplicity. Therefore, Duolingo’s mascot ‘Duo’ is also affected by this change and has more definite and smoother forms with a simple and sincere representation of big eyes and a small mouth that looks like smiling. 2019 version of the logo has better communication with people by having a sympathetic characteristic mascot design. Moreover, the mascot of Duolingo; ‘Duo’ interacts with the users via email with sincere facial expressions for using the app recently or crying for not using the app, and this emotional communication of ‘Duo’ increases positivity and make an urge to play/learn more in the App! It is both a clever and a beneficial idea. 

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Duolingo Mascot Facial Expressions_©invisionapp.com

Interactive UI Communication with Mascot Design and Branding

Toonie is a simple alarm app design with elements of gamification. The gamification method of the app design provides an interactive interface with catch-up attention and creates consistency with characteristic concepts. Therefore, this demonstrates the connection between interactive UI design and mascot design. With the spread of the voice and the tone of the product, Toonie’s cute mascots speak with you interactively. In the morning, Toonie also wakes people with a fun and cheerful bird sound to give a good and cheerful start to a day. In addition, the app also sends notifications about news and rewards to increase usability and uniqueness. These rewards are cute stickers performed in the entertaining and interactive style of the company and represent its enjoyable characteristics with recognizable animals.

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Toonie Mascot Design for UI Interactions_©blog.tubikstudio.com
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Toonie Alarm App Design_©blog.tubikstudio.com

With numerous options for mascots, the Toonie alarm app has become one of the most preferred alarm apps because of its originality and flexibility to adapt and adjust. Also because of its function of alarm coding, it should be used on an everyday basis and the mascot had to reflect this major part of functionality quickly and efficiently. Also in the app tutorial, ‘Toonie the Blue Bird’ provides emotional communication with the app using methods like storytelling.

In conclusion, mascot design plays a significant role in brand identity in terms of promoting the product/service, engagement with the audience with personalized characteristics, emotional communication with the user profile, and is a memorable branding. Therefore, the brands can foster their identity with more interactive and graphic visuals such as mascot designs to make a more sincere and warm look through the company.

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Toonie Alarm Mascot Design_©blog.tubikstudio.com

References:

  1. Medium. 2021. The Power of Mascots in Branding and UI Design. [online] Available at: <https://uxplanet.org/the-power-of-mascots-in-branding-and-ui-design-5973d12be955> [Accessed 31 July 2021].
  2. Brown, E., 2021. How Mascots Play A Crucial Part In Humanizing The Brand? – DesignMantic. [online] DesignMantic. Available at: <https://www.designmantic.com/blog/mascots-humanizing-the-brands/> [Accessed 31 July 2021].
  3. Team, E., 2021. Duolingo’s Owl Sets Tone of Their New Visual ID. [online] Branding.news. Available at: <https://www.branding.news/2019/09/30/duolingos-mascot-sets-tone-of-their-new-visual-identity/> [Accessed 31 July 2021].
  4. Yalanska, M., 2021. Case Study: Toonie. Mascot Design for UI Interactions. [online] Tubik Blog: Articles About Design. Available at: <https://blog.tubikstudio.com/case-study-toonie-alarm-mascot-design-for-ui-interactions/> [Accessed 31 July 2021]. 
Author

Betül Özlem Yılmaz is a 4th year interior architecture student and passionate researcher for different topics which is related to architecture and design. She is interested in reading, writing and conceptualizing the projects for creating unique perspective. Her aim is to combine different disciplines in her writings.

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