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Logo Designs with Character: Are They Right for Your Company?

Many of the best logos are simple, iconic, and abstract. Think of the Nike Swoosh or the Golden Arches of McDonald’s. However, there are times when a little character is needed—and we mean that literally. While simple and iconic is a great theme for many logo samples, some companies have names and/or brands that beg for a mascot. Here are a few times when a logo design with character might be the right choice.

When to use a character in your logo design?

1 Your company name implies a character.

For instance, a company named Blue Dog Films would be well served by a logo design with a blue dog. Another good example is a company name with a person’s name, such as Bob’s Flea Market. Giving ‘Bob’ (or whomever) a face can help build a unique small business brand.

2 Your company markets to children.

As McDonald’s and Chuck E. Cheese both know well, children love characters and will favor a business where the logo design and other aspects of branding feature some of their favorite friends.

3 You want a friendly, personal brand.

Some brands are aloof and distant, while others are personal and warm. There are benefits to both types, but they both demand a very different type of logo design. If you are looking for a friendly brand, why not quite literally make a mascot that your customers can befriend?

4 You want to use animation in your branding materials.

While it is certainly possible to animate your logo without having a cartoon, they certainly can be the basis of some fun and winning animated designs. Whether your mascot breaks out into a smile or dribbles a basketball, an animation will make them all the more lifelike.

When NOT to use a character in your logo design?

There are also a few circumstances when using a character based logo design might be a bad idea. For example:

1 Your business has a serious, adult image.

Can you imagine a business CPA with a cartoon-y logo design? Neither can we. Sometimes it is important to be all business, and a cartoon is anything but.

2 You don’t plan to use the image in the overall branding.

If the image is not going to become a beloved friend to your customers and part of your everyday business, don’t even bother.

There are a few benefits to mascot based logo designs. First, as we mentioned above, they are perceived as friendlier and more human. Second, they appeal, especially to children. Last, and perhaps most significant, cartoon-based logos give your customer an actual face to attach to your company, one that can become a recurring part of your marketing and advertisements. People are biologically wired to respond differently to faces than to other images.

There is nothing wrong with using a little scientific knowledge to advance your company’s best interests! If you wonder whether a ‘logo with a character’ is the right choice for your company, or if you are ready to move ahead on any type of logo, contact a professional logo designer today!

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.