31 Jul How to create a cartoon logo and mascot design in Photoshop
I’m going to explain you how to create a mascot character and I will share some of my secret weapons.
I will share the process in the creation of an illustrative cartoon logo design, from the first sketches to the final logo design, 🙂
Writing the brief of the logo design project
Frangola is a small company located in Angola which sells fried chicken. They found me through a design agency who made the briefing of the project and subsequent applications of the logo design.
The client wanted an illustrative logo design with integrated mascot design. On one hand, we wanted to cause high graphic impact when printing in big sizes; on the other hand, it had to be readable in small sizes (later on I will show you different versions I designed to solve this problem).
The design had to transmit freshness, confidence, optimism, health, flavor, quality.
Creating a logo mockup in Photoshop
To transmit the mentioned values I chose this typography named Dolphins, a good choice?.
The instructions were quite simple. The client wanted to incorporate the mascot design popping out of a circle, in a confident attitude, showing that their chicken is the number one. I offered various compositions using a character I designed some time ago, just for reference.
The client picked the first one.
My idea was to design a logotype that was easy to simplify. In small sizes, we could supress the illustration and keep just the brand. We´re taking this point again later.
Sketching a Mascot Character
The client described the mascot design as a hen with the next attributes: tasty, fleshy, fresh, bright eyes, confidence, number one, feminine touch.
The client’s corrections really improved the final design. The character gained some weight, we softenedd the lines to make the plumage smoother. We also gave it some volume and increased the curvature of the back to make the action line more pronounced. This way we get a more interesting pose.
Pay attention to the change in the action line, the second pose works better.
Designing the final Cartoon Logo Design
After some corrections here we go with the final sketch. Notice that we curved the lettering a little bit to give it more dynamism. We also changed the position of the character’s hand, the client chose this gesture among other five ones.
Let’s focus first on the brand, it had to work independently from the illustration but we’ll also integrate the character later.
I though warm colors would fit with the theme, so I picked yellow and brown colors
When you’re designing an illustrative logo design, you must choose colors carefully. The logotype has to be readable as well as nice. In order to accomplish this, I suggest this test:
Desaturating the image will be enough. If the brand is still readable, that means we made a good choice with the colors. As you can see, in the image on the left there’s not enough contrast between yellow and brown colors, whereas in the image on the right, the contrast is correct and the lettering is perfectly readable.
Coloring the mascot design
I used Photoshop for the coloring, as I usually do. The most difficult part was painting the feather, I painted it all in just one tone, and then I added different shades. If you want to learn more about this technique, you can watch this video.
Here you can see the evolution of the character.
- Tip 1: use lots of layers. I started the plumage with a nearly-monochromatic shading, and then I added more layers with different shades.
- Tip 2: use different layer fusion modes, this way you’re adding volume. “Screen” mode is good to lighten areas, while “Multiply” mode is good to darken areas.
- Tip 3: if you want the illustration to look “3d”, reduce the amount of lines.
- Tip 4: when you’re finished, flat the layers and use “Dodge Tool” to merge tones and emphasize some areas.
Integrating the mascot design with the logo design
On one hand we have the lettering, on the other hand we have the mascot. Now let’s integrate both.
Remember: our goals was designing an eye-catching logo to print in big sizes, but we also needed a simplified version to print in small sizes, which still had to be fully readable.
So we designed different versions of the logotype:
- Full color brand in detail
- Brand in 1 and 2 colors, without detail
- Full color character and black&white
- Full color brand + character and black&white.
As good designers we are, we must pay attention to the presentation of our final work. If you have any contributions, criticism or questions, please comment. I’ll reply as soon as possible.
See you soon!!!