Throwback Thursday: Bernie Brewer Statue

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Here’s another project from my “secret files” that I finally have permission to show:

Back in 2012 I was hired by Idea Planet to help out with a display for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, in conjunction with Southwest Airlines. They were having a promotional event that included a booth where fans could have their pictures taken next to a life-sized statue of the team mascot, Bernie Brewer. Idea Planet designed the booth and asked me to do turnarounds that the sculptor could use as reference for the statue.

My drawings are above. Below is a photo the client sent me of the final result. The sculptor seems to have modified my design, especially the arms, but overall everything looks colorful and fun. I’m sure people enjoyed goofing around with the statue and I was glad to be a part of it.

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More Art for Goldfish Swim School

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A few years ago Goldfish Swim Schools hired me to create a mascot named Bubbles (see a few of the concept sketches here). They liked him so much that they’ve hired me to illustrate Bubbles on stickers and tattoos,  window clings, and coloring pages. They even made him into a plush doll.
Recently the client gave permission for me to post some more Bubbles art. Above are a few holiday themed costumes. I also created several more “coloring book”-style pages, a few of which are shown below.

If you’ve got company or brand that could use a mascot, drop me a line. I’d love to chat about how I can help you out. You might also want to read my blog post, The Power Of A Mascot

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‘Sir Cumference’ Mascot Design

Sir Cumference character design by Cedric Hohnstadt

I sometimes get hired by business owners to create mascots for their companies and products. An appealing mascot has many benefits, several of which I’ve listed here.

Earlier this year I was hired by a blogger who is building a website about chronic pain and weight loss. He wanted a mascot for the blog who could interact with readers in a friendly, conversational tone. The idea was to create a humorous, jovial knight who is in a bit of denial about how seriously overweight he is.

Here’s some of the initial concepts I submitted:
Sir Cumference character concepts by Cedric Hohnstadt

And here’s a few illustrations using the final design (the last one is a badge for an upcoming blog series called “Not Safe For Breakfast”):

Illustrations of Sir Cumference Mascot by Cedric Hohnstadt

The website isn’t live yet, but when it is you can check it out at itmeansfat.com.

The Power Of A Mascot

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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.

Window Clings for Goldfish Swim Schools

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One of my regular clients is Goldfish Swim Schools. A little over a year ago they hired me to design a mascot for their company, named Bubbles the Goldfish. Recently they asked me to do a couple of jumbo window clings of Bubbles to hang in their facilities. They wanted something fun that kids could stand next to and have their picture taken. This is how they turned out.

Themed Costumes For Goldfish Swim School Mascot

Goldfish Mascot Themes

Earlier this year I was hired by a chain of swimming schools in Wisconsin to design a mascot for their company, Goldfish Swim Schools. You can see a few of the initial sketches here. They named the mascot “Bubbles”, and they liked him/her/it so much that they asked me to create themed variations for use on calendars, removable tattoos, etc. They gave me a list of themes, and the above image is what I came up with.

I recently completed a second batch of themed costumes that I hope I can show soon, and now I’m doing some coloring book art for them featuring Bubbles. If you’ve got company or brand that could use a mascot, drop me a line. I’d love to chat about how I can help you out. You might also want to read my blog post, The Power Of A Mascot.