What You Should Know About the Mascot Design Process

Advertising whizzes acknowledge that mascots can be a highly effective tool when it comes to promoting your business.  With continuing exposure, mascots naturally remind customers of a company or team, and leave a lasting impression – which is the ultimate goal of having a mascot.  Mascot design and construction vary, and during the design process, you will have to make some important decisions that will impact the appearance of your character.  Following are some helpful tips on what you should know about the mascot design process before you buy a mascot costume. 
Design Concept
Mascot design begins with your vision.  Many mascots are inspired by a toy, cartoon, food, animal, person, or, even an object.  When making this decision, you must first consider how the mascot will be used, whether it will be standing still, handing out literature, or waving, jumping, and running or all of the above.  The communication process is important at this stage as professional mascot designers begin to sketch your character and help you choose colors, body shapes, and facial expressions.  The designers at Hogtown Mascots, for example, use digital software that allows them to make rapid changes to the design while communicating with you. 
Performer comfort needs to be a priority in the design of a mascot outfit.  The material used must be strong enough to endure the mascot’s movements, while not causing the performer to be uncomfortable during the show/appearance.  The best mascot designers are actual performers who have experience wearing mascot apparel for extended periods of time.  All mascot costumes can be hot, but using lightweight and breathable materials can make a huge difference.
Hogtown Mascots uses different types of lightweight, breathable foam with varying degrees of density, rigidity, and flexibility.  If you are considering buying a mascot costume, you should avoid any designer who uses fiberglass, upholstery foam, or compressed paper products.  These materials result in substandard costumes that will either not last or will be too heavy to wear.  Fiberglass is heavy, inflexible and likely to crack.  Upholstery foam is elastic and will droop after use. Upholstery foam is also not very breathable and loves to hold moisture and bacteria.   
Mascots may have different types of helmets used inside the head.  For comfort, support, and flexibility, the best helmets are custom-fitted and adjustable.  Padding should be included and removable for adaptability and cleaning.  Chin straps may be integrated with the helmet for particularly energetic, or gymnastic mascot maneuverers.  The designers at Hogtown Mascots focus first on every mascot’s comfort and safety during their performances.  For this reason, more often than not, the mascot’s head is not fastened to the body by fasteners or straps that prohibit its hasty removal.  This head independence also allows the performer a much greater range of movement.
The structure and shape of the mascot body define its character.  Avoid designers who use wire, paper maché, or other material that does not retain its shape after being hugged by children and adults.  The finest mascot designers utilize lightweight foam between layers of breathable sports mesh to construct a mascot inner body that allows heat and moisture to escape.  Strong metal rings can then be attached to the inner body to hold flexible tubing which allows the mascot to be repeatedly hugged without losing its shape.  The inner body design provides a space around the performer’s body which increases the airflow. 
Mascot design is serious business at Hogtown Mascots.  If you are looking for a professional mascot to represent your business or school, call the mascot professionals at Hogtown today.