Mascots in Web Design: How to Look Professional and Funny at the Same Time

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When people find something cute or funny, they remember it more clearly later. If that means they may visit your site again, then a mascot is a great idea. However, it’s undeniable that some mascots can turn out creepy, ridiculous or just plain unlikeable. Here are some tips to help you make your mascot funny or cute, yet still professional.

Consider Your Target Audience

Before you even try designing a mascot, you have to know exactly what your web site is all about and to whom it is aimed at. A site aimed at 1st-graders will surely make a good impression with a cute and cuddly mascot – maybe an animal one. A site for middle-aged adults, on the other hand, will be more appealing to your target audience with humor rather than cuteness.

Make the Mascot Match the Web Site

If your web site is about reptiles, try a mascot that is a snake or lizard. If it’s about food, try a mascot that is a well-loved snack like a cupcake.If you make your mascot match the site’s theme, then when it makes a good impression on the viewer’s memories, they’ll associate the whole site with that impression.

Here are some successful matches of the site and the mascot:

The Cowurl cowA cute cartoon cow that matches the title of the site (itself a pun on the words “URL” and “cowgirl”), and is credited in the site’s text as the one that performs their URL-shortening service. “TinyURLs are so 2008!” reads the site’s friendly text. “Cow makes them personal.”

The Cowurl cow mascot

The Firefox FoxNot only does the mascot’s appearance bring back the title’s exact words – “fire” and “fox” – but it’s unique, the blue of the globe is a great color scheme to the orange of the fox, and it evokes the great image of blazing your trail around the world wide web.

FireFox Fox

The Hootsuite OwlsThese mascots’ neutral color schemes match their site’s mild, soft and friendly color scheme, and them being owls matches the name “Hootsuite.” The cuteness appeals to kids, and the outfits the owls dress up in for holidays and other events give the adults a laugh too.

The Hootsuite Owls

Give Your Mascot a Personality

Here are some ways to make your mascot personable:

* In general practice, happy mascots work best, especially if you’re trying to make them cute or funny.

Panda listens to the music

* Giving your mascot duties such as pointing visitors to helpful parts of the site will give the user a feeling of interacting with it and make them like it more.

androids eat apples!

* If the site’s tone allows, try giving your mascot lines to say. Use some creative writing – make the mascot speak in a unique way to make an impression.

Mascot speaking

* Use body language to give your mascot personality. No static, standing-around poses – try for “animated” even in still images!

Mascot in Gray

As long as you know who are the audience your mascot is meant to appeal to, you can make it into something they’ll like. Off-the-wall mascots aren’t a bad thing, so don’t be afraid to pick a really odd animal / plant / vegetable / item as your mascot!

Sonia Mansfield is the content editor for PsPrint and editor of PsPrint Design Blog. She likes to write, do yoga and make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company specializing in brochure printing.

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