Today we prepared for you a Character Design template and a guide on how to create your own character profile for your projects.
Many brands and speakers like to bet on characters to represent their campaigns, ideas, and core values. When you think of Michelin, you instantly imagine the Michelin Man. Mickey Mouse is also what instantly pops up in your mind when you hear someone mentions Disney. There are many world-famous brand mascots that are ambassadors of their companies and have developed a life of their own. So, it’s no surprise you would like to have a mascot character for your own campaign. Everyone does, we do it with our cute pink-glasses-wearing Graphic Mama, too.
This is why we rolled our sleeves and made you a guide on how to create such a character design and develop the idea in a sheet. This way, you can easily present your character idea to your team, as well as to the artist or designer you’ve chosen for the artwork.
1. How do Brands Use Character Designs?
We’ll quickly go through a few instances where a brand can use a character or a mascot as an avatar of their identity and a speaker of their values and services.
You can use your mascot as a part of your logo to interact with.
The mascot can promote your products and services. For example, it can be part of the package design for physical products or become a part of the digital presentation on your website.
Being the front office for your services, the mascot can be a part of your marketing materials, such as posters, flyers, and business cards.
Your mascot character can speak on your behalf and communicate with your audience through custom page messages after certain taken actions. For example, your mascot can greet your viewers, say thank you, or give them a confirmation.
You can get even more creative and let your mascot perform different actions on your website. They can do something like a loading animation when the viewer registers or when they click a certain area. There are limitless possibilities.
✔️ Blogs and Social Media
The mascot can also represent your brand in the thumbnails, the title slides of your posts, or in infographics, you feature in your posts.
Once established, your character can develop personality on its own, have its own social media accounts, and speak on your behalf in explanation videos or live streams as a puppet. In order to create such a character/ mascot, you will have to think of their identity, personality, appearance, and temper. Everything that ties them to your brand, your unique brand tone of voice, and will communicate your values to the targeted audience.
2. How to Create a Character or a Mascot for Your Brand?
You can already have a full idea for your mascot. Also, you could wish to discuss it with your team before handing your idea to an artist. Or maybe you could have just a general idea and wish the artist or designer to help you perfect the concept. Either way, the best practice is to prepare a character design template.
It’s also known as a character sheet.
Every character design template is different, depending on its use.
📖 For book characters, the sheet will be much longer. It will include relations with other characters, backstories, and historical and political relations to the plot.
🎲 In the case of roleplaying games, the sheets will include attributes such as strength, dexterity, stamina, magic abilities, and more. Meaning, that they tend to get more technical and relate to the game mechanics.
👉 However, today we will create a character design template for a brand and presentation mascot. The most important attributes are physical appearance and the personality of your character. Imagine your character as the front office manager of your hotel. They will be the face of your company and will represent you and your concepts. Knowing your target audience, you will already have an idea of how you wish your brand or concept to be perceived.
And with that, you can already start outlining your character or mascot.
The cover of the book. This is how your character looks, its essence, and its features.
- Species: Is your character human, an object, an animal, an alien, or a fantasy creature?
- Body Type: Does your character have a slender, muscular, medium, or chubby body?
- Height: Is your character tall, medium, or short? Is it a giant or a small creature?
- Weight: Is your character, for example, heavy or leather-light and floating?
- Colors: What is the color scheme for your character? Do the colors mimic your brand colors?
- Hairstyle: Does your character have hair, feathers, or cables on their head? Do they have a hairstyle?
- Gender: Does your character have a specific gender?
- Age: Is there an apparent age to your character?
- Distinctive Features: What are the specifics your character has that make them unique?
After you have a good idea of how your character looks, time to give them a name and some flavor.
- Name: What’s the name of your character and is it the same as your brand?
- Nickname: Is there a more catchy nickname your character would have?
- Profession: What does your character do? Is he a marketer, an artist, or a superhero?
- Culture: Is there a specific culture that is bound to your character?
- Environment: If, for example, your character is a mermaid or a dragon, or an alien, think of the environment they will inhabit.
A beautiful avatar is nothing without a matching personality. So, your character is a lovely tech girl who fixes computers? But what is she like as a person? How is she going to attract your viewers and become likable or relatable in their eyes?
- Personality Type: What defines your character’s personality? You could include everything you wish, from listing traits such as friendly, joyful, and casual, to a specific MBTI type to set the overall impression. This will help the artist or designer draw the right expressions that will match your tone later.
- Temper: Is your character sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, or a combination of two?
- Social Attitude: How social is your character? Are they friendly, outgoing, talkative, bubbly, shy, formal, or something else?
- Quirks: How quirky is your character? Do they have a specific trait to them? For example, they could be usually sleepy, flirty, and clumsy. Or like to quote philosophers. Or to sing and dance a lot during presentations? Anything, really.
- Skills: Depending on the field, they could be a crafty mechanic or a supercomputer.
- Likes: What is your character fond of?
- Dislikes: What are the things your character dislikes?
Secondary Character Features
Body language is often overlooked but it’s a strong feature that gives more personality and flavor. In short, you can easily say a character is confident if they stand upright with their head held high. You can also tell a character is shy if they tense or struggle to find what to do with their hands. They might also prefer to jump a lot, to be over-expressive and energetic.
- Posture: Depending on your character’s personality and design, what is their default posture?
- How they walk: Is your character fast, slow, skipping, or dancing? Or do they fly?
- Gestures: What would be your character’s specific gestures?
- Catch Phrase: Do they have a signature catchphrase?
These four parts give a detailed description of your character. When you finish filling the character template, you will give a comprehensive view of your character idea to your team, and the artist or designer who will create it adequately.
📝 Please note that it’s normal if you don’t have the answers to all of the questions. It’s enough to fill the parts that you think are most important and essential to you, and leave the rest to the artist.
Types of Character Design Artwork Deliverables
As a bonus, we also decided to add a list of the character design deliverables you might want to receive. Depending on what you need your character for (a logo, a poster, a video), you might need some of the following.
- Full Body Design in 3/4 view
- Full Body Design in Frontal, Side, and 3/4 View
- Torso or Full Body Design in more angles for animation
- Basic Character Expressions
- Different poses and concepts
- Character in a specific scene
- Finished illustration
3. Free Character Design Template by GraphicMama
Here’s the character profile sheet with all categories we mentioned. It’s available in an interactive PDF and you can fill it directly before saving and printing.
Now all you need to do is unleash your creativity and craft an amazing mascot character for your brand or presentation. And most importantly, have fun with it and go wild.
In the meantime, if you really love creating characters, wish to get inspired, or you’re ready to animate, here are some insightful articles on the topic that you could check.