The Power Of A Mascot

mascots

As a freelance illustrator I work on a variety of projects, but my specialty is character design. I periodically get calls from ad agencies, design firms, and business owners wishing to hire me to design a mascot to help promote their product or service.

Mascots are powerful, which is why so many companies use them (like the well-known brands pictured above). Having a character or mascot to represent you in front of the public can have several advantages:

1. Mascots get attention – People are constantly bombarded with messages so you need to go the extra mile to stand out. Mascots get noticed. When people see a mascot they are more likely to stop and listen to what he/she/it has to say.

2. Increased brand awareness. A good mascot is memorable. If an appealing character can work its way into the public consciousness it will become an instantly recognizable symbol for a product. When you look at the Geico gecko you immediately think of Geico. You see the Pillsbury dough boy and think of gooey chocolate chip cookies. The company logo is barely an afterthought. The mascot says it all.

3. A friendly image. Mascots are fun! They are entertaining to watch and send a positive message. A likable character can instantly create a positive connection with your potential customers. It’s much harder to do that with only a logo.

4. Mass appeal. A good mascot can appeal to a wide demographic, across many age groups and backgrounds. Mascots appeal to children as well as adults, extending your brand message to a wider audience. A mascot can even transcend languages and cultures.

5. Lucrative licensing opportunities. If a mascot becomes popular it opens the door for all sorts of profitable merchandise (clothing, toys, etc.) that can make you money while at the same time raising awareness of your product. Mars Inc., the makers of M&M’s, recently opened an entire M&M’s retail store in New York City, thanks in large part to the popularity of their cartoon mascots.

If you think a cartoon mascot might be the right choice for you or for a client, download a PDF of my character design portfolio to view samples of various characters and mascots I’ve designed. You can also contact me about a free consultation, or download a free questionnaire. It’s designed to help you think through your brand message and also to give me a clear idea of what your needs are so that I know the best way to help you.

2013 Highlights and Accomplishments

This is a few days late, but I thought it would be a good time to pause and reflect on what an awesome and action-packed year 2013 turned out to be! Here’s a few of the highlights from my studio:

Illustration

Toy Design

  • I continued doing toy design and concept art for multiple Hasbro projects (which unfortunately I’m not allowed to show).
  • I did some packaging art and concept sketches for Crayola, which I also can’t show (yet).
  • I did get permission to show a bit of toy concept work for Toys-R-Us.
  • Some Cut the Rope  and Cars toys I designed for DecoPac, Inc. started appearing on cakes in bakeries all over the country.

Character Design

Misc

 

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. This was one of the busiest years I can ever remember for my studio, but also one of the most enjoyable. I feel very blessed. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and shown interest in my work over the years. Here’s hoping 2014 is the best year yet!

Sketchbook Update: Snake Oil Salesman

Snake Oil Salesman - Sketch by Cedric Hohnstadt

Here’s a sketch I did recently based on a drawing prompt from the Pose Drawing Sparkbook: “Snake oil salesman giving his sales pitch in an old west town”.

 

Save 15% on the Pose Drawing Sparkbook!

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Got a New Year’s resolution to make better drawings? Save 15% on the Pose Drawing Sparkbook now through Jan. 10 with promo code “newyear2014”. Happy new year!

VeggieTales Concepts for “Merry Larry”

I was hired by Big Idea to do some character concept art for their latest VeggieTales DVD, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas (Amazon link). This episode features a guest narrator, Uncle Si from the runaway hit cable series Duck Dynasty.

Here’s a few rough concepts and final turnarounds, followed by some screen captures from the episode. Bob’s glasses were removed for the final show (I suspect because having unobstructed eyes makes the acting a bit clearer), but overall the end result stayed pretty close to what I submitted.

(Click to enlarge)

Bob Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Christina Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Larry Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Mr Lunt Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Miss Lewis Turnarounds for "Merry Larry"

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New Pose Drawing Sparkbook Ad

"Pose Drawing Sparkbook" Ad for CTN Animation Expo

(Click to enlarge.)

I’ll be officially launching the Pose Drawing Sparkbook at the CTN Animation Expo in November (although you can pre-order now). I just submitted this ad for inclusion in the conference book that will be given to all attendees. It was a lot of fun to work up these sketches.

If you work in (or want to work in) the animation industry, the Expo is a must-see. Tons of terrific speakers, exhibits, booths, and networking galore.

In addition to launching the Sparkbook I’ll also be giving a workshop called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. Sign up when you register.