Although 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.
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)
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
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
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
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.
Development Stage One
- Coloured in outline drawing
- Removed outlines
- Began shading the face and highlighting the hair
Development Stage 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
- 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)