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Isn’t it sweet? Mascots in Modern Web Design

The more emotional a site design is, the more likely it is to evoke positive feelings within its visitors. To achieve a lasting impression, designers tend to use visual cues and offer some eye candy for hurried and hectic users. E.g. vibrant color schemes, photos and illustrations can be used to draw user’s attention to some specific site section.

But are there any further options? Yes, there are. Actually, mascots are traditional for sports competitions such as Football World Championship or Olympic Games. Mascot is a more or less nicely designed creature which is symbolic for something and is supposed to evoke sympathy and strengthen the sense of belonging to one single team.

Mascot Screenshot1
Heckert, a handsome wildebeest with typical beard and smart-looking curled horns, is the GNU2‘s mascot.

Today mascots are used almost everywhere3 — e.g. by a number of software applications, groups and communties. It can also support the corporate identity for companies and services. Consequently, they are also becoming more and more popular in web designs.

What Do Mascots Look Like? Link

Animals and human-like creatures are used more frequently than some abstract creatures. The reason is quite trivial: users are more likely to associate their emotions with something they can easily recognize and find emotional binding to. Abstract creatures need to be studied and understood first. Most users don’t have the time and patience to do that. And that’s definitely not sometihng they are looking for in the first place. Still, abstract creatures are also possible.

As the carrier of positive feelings, mascots usually laugh and transport the feeling of joy, contentment and happiness. To leave a lasting impression, mascots have to look as cute, as sweet, as adorable, as pity and sometimes even as silly as possible. Unfortunately, most mascots have no names; however, having a name is rather usual for large communities as it can be easier referred to.

Mascot Screenshot4
Classic: Livejournal5 still has its famout mascot, Frank the Goat. Frank usually says “Baaaa” and likes to eat pants.

Some mascots are just hand-drawn illustrations, others are combined with a logo. They appear throughout the site and motivate users to some actions — e.g. to visit some site section or fill in the sign-up form.

Mascot Screenshot6
Yigg.de7 uses a hamster as a mascot. The mascot appears everywhere throughout the site.

Mascots in Modern Web Design Link

A mascot can provide a site design with a fine and nice detail which the site would miss otherwise. This detail is used on private pages as often as in an online-shop or by a web-service. It’s important that the final mascot design is clean and fits to the overall site design. For instance, a laughing beaver doesn’t really help a site which tries to sell some underwater accessories.

We have collected a number of cute, well-designed and visually appealing mascots. The images are linked and lead to the pages from which they’ve been taken.


Mascot Screenshot9

Justin Bird10 — animated. Don’t forget to hover your mouse over the bird.

Mascot Screenshot11


Mascot Screenshot13



Brent Ayers16

Mascot Screenshot17




Mascot Screenshot21

Kent Pribbernow22



Mascot Screenshot25




Mascot Screenshot29



Nü Regime32


Pasquale D’Silva34

Mascot Screenshot35

Potato Parade36 — Flash. This is an McCain’s advertisement.

Mascot Screenshot37

Goanna Webdesign (Flash)

Mascot Screenshot

Crayons38 — animated.

Mascot Screenshot39


Mascot Screenshot


Mascot Screenshot41



Datejs44: Ninjas at work.


Mooourl46 — the mascot supports the logo.


Dr. Web Magazin48




Vic52 is a hand-drawn mascot of a Medical Rehabilitation Network.


Amiami Village54




Classics Link

Ask.com58 used to have Mr. Jeeves answering users’ questions. The results weren’t always perfect, but Mr. Jeeves always stayed calm and polite.

Mascot Screenshot59

Ask Dr. Z60: in 2006 Chrysler unveiled its “Ask Dr. Z” national ad campaign that features the company’s Chairman, Dieter Zetsche, as the spokesperson and mascot.

Mascot Screenshot61

Should Smashing Magazine have a mascot? Link

We’d like to know your opinion. If yes, how should it look like? Please let us know in the comments!

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    Cute collection. Thank you!

  2. 2

    That’s so cool, it’s like hi-tech 60′ :))

  3. 3

    Mascots and characters can work really well for branding if done properly and tastefully.

  4. 4

    Jean-Philippe Encausse

    January 15, 2008 7:14 am

    Thanks !
    This post is exactly what I was looking for :-)

    Does anybody know where to find a repository, database, … of modern mascots available for personal websites ?

  5. 5

    Caesar Tjalbo

    January 15, 2008 7:23 am

    It sometimes seems as every FOSS project has its own mascot, from penquins to dragons and devils.
    I got a bit of a shock when seeing the mascot of Crayons, it reminded me of Clippy (the horror!).

  6. 6

    maybe there a squirrel or maybe a chipmunks mascot holding magazines?:)

  7. 7

    Cheers for the feature guys!

  8. 8

    Hi great selection, i’m looking for my own mascott actuelly (actuelly i’m my own mascott ;-) ), this can inspire me, thanks a lot

  9. 9

    What are the common tools used to create and/or animate cartoon-like mascots?

  10. 10

    Yes a mascot would be cute and obviously he should have a large mallet in his hands that is “Smashing” the ground as the the mascot hovers in the air, triumphant from the force of the impact

  11. 11

    what about veerle?

  12. 12

    Some of these mascots can be bought from, like the ones from FreelanceSwitch, Kent Pribbernow and Stoodeo.

  13. 13

    Woah! That’s me! I’m soo delighted to be featured! Thanks! ^_^

  14. 14

    I think a mallet/hammer or an anvil would be a good mascot. I’m not much of an illustrator, so I don’t have an image of one, but either of those would be “smashing”!

  15. 15

    AGREE! Large Mallet, lots of cuteness.

  16. 16

    Great post, as usual!
    And yes, you shoul have a mascot too, they are really cool.

  17. 17

    Vector arts dominates !!

  18. 18

    I hadn’t seen many of these, it’s amazing what quests you people can come up with. stood out to me as the best of the lot.
    Check out his portfolio, he mixes flash and html elements fairly well, not quite validating, but…
    Vector Kung Fu specialists rock!

  19. 19

    A lot of those are of a very similar style (Wishlistr, Brent Ayers, Netmaths, Cork’d, Freelanceswitch for example), and whilst that’s no bad thing, it seems like quite a few sites now have them.

    The reason I come back to is the content, and I don’t feel a mascot, however cute or appropriate will make much difference to me.

  20. 20

    What, am I six years old?

    Leave Tony the Tiger on the cereal box.


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