What You Need to Consider When It Comes to Custom Mascot Design

A mascot is a great solution to increase the recognition of your brand, better identify with your consumers and help people remember who you are. Plus, a really good mascot just looks plain cool!
Before you can start using a mascot to help enhance your brand, however, you need to have it designed. This design process is not one that should be approached haphazardly either. You need to keep in mind the important elements of custom mascot design, and a professional mascot designer can help you create the perfect character. Here are five factors that you absolutely must consider when creating your mascot:
1. Your organization’s values
When designing a mascot, what your organization is all about matters more than anything else. This is for the same reasons that your core values are reflected in your slogan, your logo and the way that you train your team members: you want to let the world know what your organization is all about.
Since your organization’s mascot is all about reflecting what your team is all about, make sure that your core values are reflected in the design of your mascot.
2. Your organization’s colors
When people see your mascot, they should immediately be thinking about your organization’s brand. A great way to make this happen is to keep your organization’s colors in mind when designing your mascot.
If you do not already have a specific color scheme that reflects your brand, now is the time to create one, because people are better able to identify you if you have an organizational color scheme. If your color scheme is good enough and your mascot wears it well, people may even begin to identify that color scheme with your brand specifically, no matter who uses it (think Laker purple)!
3. Concept design
Mascot design doesn’t always happen overnight. Don’t be afraid to inject any fun ideas that you have into a mascot design. We typically like to create at least two contrasting mascot design concepts to show you so that you can make the right decision for your brand.
4. Your mascot needs to stand out in a crowd
If your mascot looks like someone else’s, it won’t be clearly identifiable as belonging to your brand. Instead, they are likely to mistake your mascot for that of another company. In order to avoid this mishap, take the time to make sure that your mascot design is completely unique.

How to Make Your Custom Mascot Safe

Acting as a custom mascot can be a fun and rewarding experience, but can also be a challenging and tiring experience that puts performers at risk of various issues ranging from injuries to heat exhaustion. However, simply by following basic safety precautions, you can protect your performers and allow them to have an enjoyable, comfortable experience while in costume.

1. Make Smart Costume Decisions
You need to think carefully about the actual design of the mascot when designing your custom mascot costume. It is always best to avoid long tails, excessive material and other features which may be trip hazards or make it difficult for the performer to move around. Also, avoid pieces within the costume that could cause injuries should the performer fall.
2. Perform with an Escort
Mascots have significantly restricted vision and mobility, making even the simplest tasks, such as climbing stairs and walking near traffic, dangerous. The best solution is for mascots to always be accompanied by an escort, who should be responsible for explaining what is happening outside of the mascot’s field of vision, guiding the mascot, and protecting the performer from overly enthusiastic fans. The escort will also act as the character’s voice, and will respond verbally to the character’s gestures as they interact with the audience.
3. Practice Before the Performance
The mascot should run through the routine first out of costume and then in costume before the event. Difficult movements like walking on stairs with the mascot feet on should also be practiced well ahead of time. At this time, it is also very important to rehearse signals that will enable the mascot to communicate with their escort.
4. Avoid Overheating
Including features such as a fan or cooling vest inside your custom mascot can help performers stay cooler, provided that this equipment does not add too much additional weight to the costume. Performers can also keep cool by wearing light, loose-fitting clothes. We recommend that the performer wear a t-shirt or tank top, a bandana or headband to keep hair back, and shorts or tights. Avoid sweatpants, trousers, long sleeved shirts or any other bulky clothing. The escort should always be on the lookout for signs that the mascot is suffering from any discomfort inside the costume.
5. Take Regular Breaks
The performer should typically spend 30 minutes, and never more than one hour, in costume before taking a break for anywhere between 15 minutes to half an hour. In hot temperatures, reduce performance times further and increase the length of breaks. Remember to drink plenty of water during break times to stay hydrated.
6. Keep the Costume Clean
Performers become hot and sweaty inside the mascot. To avoid the spread of bacteria and mold, air dry the costume completely before you store it or wash the costume. If you see mold within your mascot costume, do not wear it and contact your mascot costume manufacturer.
7. Choose the Right Performer
If you are looking to hire a new performer to be a mascot, you must bear in mind that not just anyone is suitable for this type of work. When considering someone who has never worked as a mascot before, you should be willing to have a trial run before the event. If the performer is not completely comfortable being in the costume, you need to find someone else. In addition to being comfortable as a mascot, your performer absolutely must have the right energy to perform effectively. This includes being able to make big gestures, convey emotions through the costume, and interact well with children. Remember, performers can be coached to improve their mascot acting skills!

10 School Mascot Ideas : What Exactly Your Mascot Will Be

Choosing a school mascot should be a fun task. However, you do not want just any mascot – you want a great one that truly represents the spirit of your school! This means that you will have to take care when deciding what exactly your mascot will be. 

We are going to help you make your decision a little bit easier with these ten great school mascot ideas:

School Mascot

1. Fierce Spartan warriors
The Spartans were fierce warriors who worked tirelessly to achieve their goals, no matter what the odds. Whether you need him for a basketball game, football game or other competition, your Spartan warrior is sure to motivate your school’s athletes. 
2. A cool bear
Bears are huge, ferocious and intimidating; there isn’t much you can do to detract from that. However, adding a school varsity jacket and some hip accessories to your bear is a great way to add a fun factor that is sure to get the crowd excited.
3. A bumble bee
Bumble bees are quick, agile and when you mess with them, you are sure to get stung — and if you bother one bee, the rest are sure to swarm you. This is a great way to infuse a team spirit into your school’s athletes.
4. A wolf
Wolves are the ultimate pack animals. They work together and communicate effectively to achieve all of their goals – this is a great thing for your school’s athletes to remember.
5. An elephant
Elephants are big, powerful and generally unstoppable beasts. This makes an elephant mascot a great option to remind both your school’s athletes and their opponents that your team is a force to be reckoned with.
6. A shark in a home uniform
When a person invades the territory of a shark, the shark usually wins. As such, a shark mascot is ideal for home games when you want to remind the opposing school that they are in your house, and winning against your team won’t come easily.
7. A flaming phoenix
Okay, so your phoenix mascot shouldn’t really be on fire. But a phoenix mascot with some flame-like effects is a great way to use the symbolism of the legendary bird: no matter how hard things get, we will come back even better than ever.
8. A big headed eagle
Speaking of birds, no list of potential mascots is complete without adding in the eagle. This bird has one simple meaning: victory. The giant head is sure to attract attention and entertain the crowd.
9. A gladiator
Gladiators were known for their intensity and ferocity, so a gladiator mascot is sure to get the crowd excited as soon as he enters the gym or field.
10. Zeus
Zeus is a mighty being who wreaks havoc on those who oppose him. Plus, his lightning bolt would be a great prop to symbolize lightning striking every time your team scored.
Regardless of which animal, human, or object you choose for your school’s mascot, make sure that it is completely unique!

Fun Marketing Ideas for Mascot Marketing Program

  • Develop a kid’s webpage (or a separate website for kids) with games and fun that your mascot “participates” in.
  • Use your mascot as the theme for your online store. Energizer has the “Bunny Centre” with media, backstory and an attached store for “Fun ways to Wear the Hare” (Feel like wearing the hare? See their store here: http://www.energizer.ca/energizer-bunny).
  • Use your mascot in banners or promotional information on your website to drum up excitement.
  •  Ever consider turning your mascot into a stuffed animal? He’s already as cute as heck — why not sell him as a huggable toy?
  • Clothing? Put your mascot’s face on a t-shirt with a cute slogan and you have a line of kid’s (and possibly adult’s) clothing.
  • Use your mascot in your print ads! What’s more likely to catch your eye on a busy subway: a stock photo or a cartoon of a fun mascot?
  • Incorporate your mascot into your direct mail. Ten bucks says people will find it harder to throw out a piece of mail with a fun cartoon on it, than one without. Perhaps your mascot will even inspire your creative thinking when it comes to direct mail.
  • Give out free company promotional materials featuring your mascot. Think: bookmarks, water bottles, magnets, keychains, stickers etc. Did someone say freebies?!

Mascot Marketing Program

There are so many marketing opportunities out there, so figure out what works for you! Representing your mascot into multiple mediums is a fantastic way to spread awareness about your brand on the web, in print media, and through promotional and for-purchase materials! Mascots are more accessible than sales jargon, so you simply can’t lose by using your mascot in as many campaign materials as possible. As our friend Paule Pachter from Long Island Cares reminds us: “Don’t have any limitations when thinking about creative ways to market your mascot.” Thanks Paule, our sentiments exactly!