Posted on January 22, 2013 by
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RocketMill MascotAlthough the RocketMill brand is still a young one, it became evident that it was time to think about enhancing it, and expanding it. The idea of a mascot was always a fond one in camp RM, as we felt that it added extra personality and memorability that a logo often can’t achieve as well.

And so appeared this fella. Another face to the RocketMill brand, he’ll be popping up around the site in the coming months to give you a moustache covered smile and a cheeky wave as you browse all the other ‘more serious’ stuff on the site.

Ironically –  I (the monster) was the creator of this scientist, and will now let you in to the ins and outs of his inception.

He’s alive! Mwahahaha*cough* Sorry.

The Task

So here was my brief whittled down:

To create a associative brand mascot that will appear on future promotional material, and will remain a core identity tool for the RocketMill brand. The mascot has to be relevant, timeless, memorable and be able to be converted into a life sized suit.

Yep. A suit that could fit Ben Garrity in.

So the idea process began. 3 out of the 4 of these weren’t picked. So don’t make fun of how ridiculous they are.

Idea One – The Flame (not an onion)

Idea One

Thought process

The idea was the anthropomorphising (big word) of our trusty RocketMill flame. I thought I could use the flick of the flame as the character’s hair, encourage a ‘Fonzie’ type persona. The wink and the gun obviously enhances this.

Why it didn’t work

  • The main reason was evident in the initial feedback. He looked more like a onion/shallot/marrow(?) than a vibrant flame. I don’t think the powers that be wanted to be represented by a form of root vegetable, understandably.
  • It may have been difficult to transform into a suit. His proportions aren’t particularly human like.

Idea Two – Astronaut Chap

Idea TwoThought process

After deciding it might be a good idea to go for a ‘human’ mascot (for suit reasons), so came about this chap. The astronaut was the link to RocketMill, but I thought the person inside the suit needed heaps of character for it to work. Having a Victorian style, penny-farthing riding wrestler in a spacesuit was utterly ridiculous (too much caffeine at this point probably) , but strangely had some charm to it.

Why it didn’t work

  • Although I thought him being a human would help the suit making, I think the spacesuit deterred it. Having a glass helmet (needed to show his entire face) would mean that Ben Garrity would probably find it difficult to breathe.
  • He was charming, but I think he was a little too ridiculous. We weren’t sure that a Victorian wrestler best suited our forward thinking approach as a company.

Idea Three – Rocket Man

Idea Three

Thought process

I was determined to get a character that would ACTUALLY work as a suit. So I went down the inanimate object route this time. A rocket for RocketMill was obvious, but sometimes simple ideas are the most effective.

Why it didn’t work

  • The smiling rocket had character, but when I started changing his expressions, he lost that character.
  • A mascot needs to be versatile  and needs to be displayed in lots of ways. I think this idea always would have to be showed in its entirety for it to be clear its a rocket. And that sometimes isn’t the best thing to do design wise.
  • I think it was too safe. Not original enough and a little too simple.

 

 Idea Four – The Rocket Scientist

Idea FourThought Process

After doing a flame, astronaut and rocket, I was running out of ideas of what to characterise. After thinking a little more laterally into what professions/objects could be associated with RocketMill, I discovered the ‘rocket scientist’. He was relevant, recognisable and a little more clever than the expected rocket and astronaut ideas.

Why it did work

  • He was human, so a lot of expressions can be made without him losing character
  • He can easily be made into a suit (Hurrah!)
  • He represented the science, data driven aspect to our business.
  • He instantly seem friendly – our ideal connotation.

So Idea 4 was approved, and development began…

The Development of the Rocket Scientist

Before I start going through the development stages, I’ll tell you where I wanted to be. I always admired the detail and finesse of the mascots and logos created by Jon Hicks, such as the MailChimp, Silverback and Firefox. So my aim was to use his technique as inspiration, whilst keeping our mascot as original as possible.

Jon Hicks

Development Stage One

Step One
  • Coloured in outline drawing
  • Removed outlines
  • Began shading the face and highlighting the hair

Development Stage Two

Step Two
  • Changed colour of jacket and bow tie to be more vibrant
  • Improved shading on jacket
  • Add detail on the shoes (brogues!)
  • Gave him an iPad to hold
  • Added detail on jacket (badge and pens)
  • Improved shading on face and trousers
  • Improved waving hand

Development Stage Three

Step Three
  • Refined detail on the face
  • Added shading to the moustache
  • More contrast in the hair
  • Changed the symbol on the badge

What’s his name again?

Here’s where you come in. Our mascot is currently nameless! Comment with ideas below with suggestions, and we’ll send some goodies to the winner…

(Here is the development in its entirety: Click to enlarge)

Timeline

 

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  1. trevor says:

    i think the name of the mascot could be –

    Professor Milton Rocket aka .. Professor M.Rocket.

    Great work.

  2. Sebastian Beaton says:

    I am liking Wolfgang – slightly mad scientist!

  3. Steve Esbin says:

    Great fun! Drum roll…

    Professor Malarkey

    Look at him…perfect.

  4. Bryony says:

    Hmm.. Professor Mill perhaps?? Or how about Professor Rollick… a small mixture of rocket and mill :)

  5. Ezekiel says:

    Robin the ‘Rocket’ Scientist! No wait…. Rocket Robin! :P

  6. Marc says:

    Professor Von Garritivski

  7. Nigel Davey says:

    Maxamillian

    I’m sure there is part of your company name somewhere in there!

  8. Arslan says:

    Professor “Rocky” or Rocki

  9. Jon says:

    Earnest MoonFlour

  10. Joe Riley says:

    Robert Alexandria (Robert Goddard invented the first modern rocket & Heron Alexandria the mill… I think)

  11. Steven Sefton says:

    Sharman after the first Brit in space.

  12. Sophie says:

    Tim – Timeless Interactive Mascot ?

    Also the name of a pretty important web scientist…

  13. Nikki Williams says:

    What was he named in the end?!

    • Ian Flynn says:

      The team are still deciding – I’ll let you know as soon as there is a decision. Hopefully before the end of the week!

    • Ian Flynn says:

      T.J. is the new name! Taken from Trajectory, as in “path that a moving object follows through space as a function of time”

      T.J. is now on the homepage, donning his ginger tash and iPad 3.

      A prize is on its way to the winner, thanks to everyone who took part!