Sep 25

Photo Realistic Illustrated Business Mascot

This article is about a project I recently completed. The client wanted a photo-realistic business mascot illustrated. You might ask “Why illustrate a photo-realistic business mascot and just use photography for the business mascot instead?” The answer is really very simple; because he needed the business mascot doing something that is not normal behavior for the animal.

The client is The Shaved Ice Bar located in Naples, Florida and they had given their business mascot a great deal of thought. They had determined many aspects of the mascot which would be used in their logo, signage, and all around The Shaved Ice Bar’s interior.

The Business Mascot Requirements

First, the animal to be used for their new business mascot would be a “green sea turtle” similar to the one shown below.

green see turtle model for business mascotSecond, the business mascot needed to be holding a Hawaiian ice (with the client’s logo on it). Third, the business mascot needed to be looking at the viewer.  Fourth, the business mascot needed to be happy and excited. And fifth, the business mascot needed to be licking the Hawaiian ice so we could see the transfer of color from the Hawaiian ice onto the turtle’s tongue.

The client wanted the illustrated business mascot to resemble the live animal as much as possible…but we would need to take creative license on several aspects of the animal’s normal anatomy. Read on to see how I worked through this process.

Prey vs Predator Anatomy

green sea turtle's face as model for business mascotPredator animals are similar to humans. One unique identifier for predator animals is that they have eyes facing forward on their heads. Forward facing eyes allow for binocular or stereoscopic vision, which allows an animal to see and judge depth.

Turtles are prey animals. Meaning, they are sought, captured, and eaten by predators. One unique identifier for prey animals is that their eyes are located on the sides of their head. The side eye placement allows for greater peripheral or side vision and thus enables the animal to see predators approaching from the side as well as behind. side view of green sea turtle as model for business mascot

The Challenge

The challenge became clear at this point…in order for the turtle to be looking at the viewer, with his eyes located on the side of his head; we would have to turn the turtle’s head to the side. If I did that, we would only see one eye and the turtle would not be looking at and facing the viewer as the client instructed.

Further, turtles in real life have large brows which make their eyes look a little sleepy. And a mouth that turns downward into somewhat of a frown. This was counter-productive to the client wanting the animal to be excited and happy about eating his Hawaiian ice product.

Additionally, we could only see the transfer of color from the Hawaiian ice onto the turtle’s tongue if the turtle was facing forward as well…clearly we needed to take some creative license with the sea turtle’s eye placement, brows, and mouth!

The Business Mascot Result

closeup of illustrated green sea turtle business mascot's faceAnd the result is below. I lessened the brow and moved the eyes forward a slight bit, and moved the eyelids back a little. This allowed me to illustrate the head in a three-quarter front view to accomplish the turtle facing the audience, and looking at the viewer and enabling us to see both eyes.

The last challenge with the turtle face was to upturn the ends of their mouth into a smile and give the animal a tongue that could reach the Hawaiian ice. I illustrated more of a human-type tongue.

closeup of green sea turtles mouthThe final requirement was the sea turtle holding the Hawaiian ice cup. This was actually the easy part. Since sea turtles have flippers, I could fold the flipper similar to a human wearing a mitten.

The last step involved working with the final coloring. You see the green sea turtle in their native environment appears to be different colors depending on the depth of which they are photographed and the quality of the photographic equipment used. Fortunately the client was extremely knowledgeable about the green sea turtle and their natural coloring and I followed his lead for coloring the business mascot.

green see turtle model for business mascot showing natural coloringAnd here is the final photo realistic illustrated business mascot:

final illustration of green sea turtle business mascotThe end result was that the client was extremely pleased with their new business mascot. They felt it resembled the actual animal (above) as much as we could and took the necessary creative license to fix the problems associated with the real life animal’s anatomy to mimic what the client wanted the animal doing in the final pose.


About Malane Newman Design
Malane Newman is a professional cartoonist, graphic designer, illustrator and website designer. Prior to starting Malane Newman Design, she was the Visual Communications Director for Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture, Corp.). She now works directly with clients to design and develop their websites, company mascots, product packaging, and just about everything else that falls into the four service areas; cartooning, illustration, website design, and graphic design.

Sep 15

Designing Uncle Moishy’s New Character and New Brand

The Old Uncle Moishy Character

The phone rang one day and I was asked by one of Uncle Moishy’s sons to create a new cartoon mascot character of Uncle Moishy. Uncle Moishy’s son told me about Uncle Moishy’s 40+ years as a Jewish children’s entertainer and about his international fame. He then showed me the Uncle Moishy character (shown on the right) they had used all that time. I was a little shocked, because the old Uncle Moishy character, if it wasn’t for the smile, looked like a character running for his life. To my eyes, it didn’t even resemble Uncle Moishy and it was a travesty that this clip art of Uncle Moishy was all they had to work with in their promotions all those years!

The New Uncle Moishy Character

new uncle moishy character with new uncle moishy branding

The New Uncle Moishy Character

They told me that this new Uncle Moishy character, if they liked it, might lead to designing their new brand and to many other things like packaging, website, and even more items like posters, flyers, more character poses etc. I wasn’t sure what to think as I had never heard of Uncle Moishy. Apparently he is extremely well known throughout the world, but primarily to the Jewish community. They also told me that the Jewish community would learn of my work and want to hire me too.They would come running to my door. Although, we as graphic designers, hear that all the time, we still hold out hope that would be true…

…but alas, even with a Jewish name like “Newman”, that didn’t help in the end…read on…

So the project began with me designing the new Uncle Moishy cartoon character. This was not very difficult because Uncle Moishy is a character unto himself. As a character designer and cartoonist there was a lot to grab onto with his prominent beard, bola-type wide-brim hat with the Jewish symbol on top, bit of a tummy, and unique costume he always wears in his performances.

When I was designing the new Uncle Moishy character, I tried many different poses. It made sense, that since Uncle Moishy sang children’s songs, he should have a mic in one hand. But what to do with the other hand? After watching a few videos of Uncle Moishy’s performances, I saw that Uncle Moishy would often raise his hand up. So I settled on a pose where Uncle Moishy is excited, smiling and waving as if to say “Hi !”

So here is the new Uncle Moishy character. They asked that I keep it quiet until they had a chance for Uncle Moishy to finish his new music CD. This was expected to only take a few months So this new Uncle Moishy character was kept under wraps.

The New Uncle Moishy Logo

After about a year had passed, and still having to keep the new Uncle Moishy character a secret, Uncle Moishy’s son asked me to design a new logo for Uncle Moishy and incorporate the new Uncle Moishy character into it. Since Uncle Moishy’s target audience is very young children, we decided to make the new Uncle Moishy logo bright and cheerful and have him pop out of the Jewish symbol that Uncle Moishy wears prominently on his bola-type wide-brim hat.

I did like the different colored letters in the Uncle Moishy text of their old logo. The varying bright colors are often associated with young child in the design industry. But the old font had to go. Since Uncle Moishy is known for melodic music and rhyme, I wanted a font that seemed to dance. After much research, I settled on a new font and the client like it!

So what did we have to work with for the new logo? The new Uncle Moishy character, the Jewish symbol he wears on his hat, a font that dances with each letter being a bright and cheerful color. Wow! That’s a lot. The new Uncle Moishy logo was practically designing itself…and here it is, the new Uncle Moishy logo…

uncle moishy logo with new look

The New Uncle Moishy Logo

The New Uncle Moishy CD Packaging

Uncle Moishy and his family were very pleased with my work thus far, so they asked me to design the CD packaging for their new music CD coming out. Again, they wanted me to incorporate the new colorful Uncle Moishy text and the new Uncle Moishy character.

The new music CD coming out was being called “Welcome”…what a stroke of luck! The new Uncle Moishy character I had designed was in a pose that looked like he could be saying “Welcome” instead of “Hi” that I had originally designed. So once again, deciding what to draw for the front of the CD packaging was becoming a no-brainer…

uncle moishy new music cd welcomeThe CD package contains a 16 page booklet full of each song’s lyrics and a glossary of hebrew terms at the end. Plus some dedications and special thanks from Uncle Moishy himself.

It also identifies the various lyric writers and composers and the 45 piece orchestra that accompanied Uncle Moishy in the production of all the songs on this new Uncle Moishy CD.

The New Uncle Moishy’s World Website

For the next step of this project, I was hired to design and develop the new Uncle Moishy World website. Uncle Moishy’s son and I brainstormed about the website. He wanted online games and coloring book pages that Uncle Moishy fans (mostly children) could come and play. A place they would return to again and again…

So I did some research and found lots of online games and coloring pages we could incorporate into the new Uncle Moishy World website. But alas, the actual content of the jigsaw puzzle games, coloring pages, and other arcade type games were not Jewish oriented. So I modified the art for all of the games and created a site that boasts some fun animated movement to images and buttons. A site with bright colors and of course, the new Uncle Moishy character on the home page bidding his welcome to the world…

new uncle moishy world website

The project, up until the middle of the website design  process, was going well working with Uncle Moishy’s son. I was enjoying everything I was creating for them. But the project took a bad turn and it didn’t end well…for me!

Uncle Moishy’s family seeing the new Uncle Moishy character, the new Uncle Moishy logo, the new Uncle Moishy music CD, and now, the progress of the new Uncle Moishy World website, became excited!!!!!!! So excited, they began to participate. After 40+ years, they could now “visualize” how this all was taking shape…Wanting to coincide the website and the new music CD into a formal “launch”…they began talking with some marketing companies…and were leaning toward hiring a marketing company that specialized in marketing to the Jewish community.

The Marketing Team

Enter the Jewish “Marketing Team” (who will remain nameless)…now when I say “Marketing Team” you should be hearing some ominous music play in your mind in the background ” as you hear those words…”Marketing Team” dun, dun, dun, dah…

Now, for those of you who don’t know:

Most marketing companies want to CREATE it all and CONTROL it all…

They convince potential clients (in this case, Uncle Moishy’s family member) that the less they (the marketing team) controls, the less possibility of the client’s success. Email marketing, Social Media marketing, Print marketing, they are all different marketing vehicles. Some companies specialize in one, a few, or all of these vehicles. Each one separately could be made to be successful for the client. That was just greed talking. Marketing companies/directors, in my experience, tend to come in like bulls in a china store. They burst in, take over, and clean house! And as any professional graphic designer has experienced, if you were there before them…you go out with the dirty water…no matter how nice your work is!

The story continues…each new entity that came into the project in mid stream brought different ideas of their own. Difficult to accommodate when you’re hired at  a “fixed” price. The marketing team kept telling Uncle Moishy’s family member that “they” (the marketing company) normally create the website! Rather than embrace what was created. They questioned everything that Uncle Moishy’s son and I had accomplished. From the placement of forms on the page, right down to the URL for the new Uncle Moishy World website…guess Uncle Moishy’s World had a better ring to it…the project became a nightmare…

I was assured by Uncle Moishy’s family member, on several occasions, the marketing company was being hired in a “limited capacity”…primarily to handle the new music CD launch and provide email and social media marketing…The marketing company’s initial  introduction to me didn’t start out well. Before they were even officially hired, they called, wanting to take my time to show them the website, the whole “immersive experience“…I was confused…the website was “my” contract…what did that have to do with the “Email Marketing” they would be hired to do? They couldn’t setup the email and social media marketing while I completed the website? I began to get angry…Why did they expect me to defend what remained to be completed? Why did the marketing company have so much to say about the website? Why were they involving themselves into areas they weren’t hired to do?

The End Result

Well, I found out (and felt the slap) just after I completed the website…an email from Uncle Moishy’s family member saying “they looked forward to working with me in the future”…and then…slap!…the next email was from the marketing company asking me for “all” the Uncle Moishy assets so “they” (the marketing company) could create the future posters, flyers, print-ads, etc… Surprise! they were hired to take over all along and I was out with the dirty water! Now they can take what I started all the way to “their” success:

Announcing! “Uncle Moishy’s New Year, New Sound” campaign… and being a “whole campaign” implies they created the new look too!

So how is the Jewish community going to know that “I” (Malane Newman Design) created the new look and feel; the new branding? How is anyone to know the Jewish marketing group that specializes in marketing to the Jewish community, had nothing to do with creating Uncle Moishy’s new branding? They can’t very well beat a path to my door as I was told they would, if they’ve never heard of me before… so this article is to tell the world (and the Jewish community) about my little foot print. And to share with graphic designers, and businesses, this all-too-familiar outcome for graphic designers when a marketing team is brought in the middle of the project… maybe a song about “loyalty” is something Uncle Moishy should have sang to his family member and their new marketing company…

 
About Malane Newman Design
Malane Newman is a professional cartoonist, graphic designer, illustrator and website designer. Prior to starting Malane Newman Design, she was the Visual Communications Director for Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture, Corp.). She now works directly with clients to design and develop their websites, company mascots, product packaging, and just about everything else that falls into the four service areas; cartooning, illustration, website design, and graphic design.

Jul 06

How to Make Dry Subject Matter Entertaining

how to make boring or dry subject matter entertaining for your audienceThis article is about how to make boring or dry subject matter entertaining to your audience. You can put a face on core values, core concepts, or core features and depict them as comic book superheroes. It’s a great tool and a very creative way to use in internal and external business marketing campaigns.

Once the comic book style superhero characters are designed, you can then use them to build intrigue and/or deliver your message in an entertaining way that will increase the chances of your viewer receiving, relating to, and retaining your message. And it’s a great way to make boring or dry subject matter entertaining for your customers, clients, or employees at the same time!

I want to show you how Allsup Corporation used the comic book superheroes I designed for them in their business marketing campaign to help their client’s understand social security disability and medicare benefits available to them and how Allsup Corporation could help them to obtain them.

The project began by first designing some comic book superheros in Allsup’s marketing campaign. The comic book superheroes were designed around my client’s preferences to represent Allsup’s three core features; True Help, Empower, and Expert.

character design of comic book style superheroes in group

The next step in the project was to illustrate a poster announcing the new super hero marketing campaign and introducing our three new superhero characters that were coming soon…building intrigue with Allsup’s customers.

custom illustrated comic book poster with superheroes

The next stage of this project was to illustrate a full  comic book page leaflet that was then given out to Allsup’s customers. Entertaining them with comic book style art while educating them about social security benefits and medicare benefits at the same time.

custom comic book page delivering message to customers

And then Allsup followed up with another full comic book page leaflet that continued on from the first story. This too was handed out to the Allsup’s customers.

custom comic book page delivering message to customers

I hope this gives you some ideas as to how you can creatively put a face on boring or dry core values, core concepts, or core features and use comic book superheroes in your marketing campaigns that will both educate and entertain your customers, clients, or employees.


About Malane Newman
Malane Newman is a professional illustrator and cartoonist for over 25 years. She is a master with color and eye candy. She has illustrated a variety of consumer products such as games, childrens books, board games, food and product packaging, magazines, greeting cards, and other consumer products. She provides new character design for clients and offers the copyrights at affordable rates. She can match most cartooning styles and works with creative directors on licensed character art (Barbie, Popeye, The Swan Princess).

Jun 29

Once Upon A Time In The Great Big Giant Woods Storybook

new picture book for children illustrated by Malane NewmanI just completed illustrating a new children’ s picture book called “Once Upon A Time In The Great Big Giant Woods” written by Jim Boat. The calendar time to complete the project was around 6 weeks, from the initial sketches to the completion of the illustrations.

The eBook is available on Amazon at a very small price. Buy the book on Amazon.

It is a lovely short story about a family of bears that live in the giant woods. I tried to infuse the storybook illustrations with lots of eye candy and visual stimulation for the child. And of course, some adorable cartoon bear characters. Here are the visuals in the new children’s book. I hope you like it!

a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman a page from a new children's storybook illustrated by Malane Newman


About Malane Newman
Malane Newman is a professional illustrator and cartoonist for over 25 years. She is a master with color and eye candy. She has illustrated a variety of consumer products such as games, childrens books, board games, food and product packaging, magazines, greeting cards, and other consumer products. She provides new character design for clients and offers the copyrights at affordable rates. She can match most cartooning styles and works with creative directors on licensed character art (Barbie, Popeye, The Swan Princess).

Jun 02

Captain Sandy from Below Deck Mediterranean Superhero Branding

captain sandy from bravos below deck mediterranean reality tv show

Captain Sandy

I got the pleasure of meeting and working with Captain Sandy, who I met as an experienced professional Yacht Captain (27 years experienced) of the 154 foot super-yacht Sirocco. Later when Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean” television show aired, I discovered she was also a reality television celebrity.

 

 captain sandy logo

Captain Sandy is in the process of developing her branding. She hired me to create a logo for her and design a superhero comic book-style character as her branding mascot.

 

comic book style superhero Captain Sandy

Captain Sandy Superhero

This mascot was designed to somewhat resemble Captain Sandy but with normal-sized female breasts and hips, yet still maintain some of the superhero comic book-style facial features and pose we’ve all come to love and expect from our superheroes. Captain Sandy and I love how she turned out. I hope you do too.

 

comic book style superhero Captain Sandy

Captain Sandy Superhero

 

below deck mediterranean season 2 episode 5 viewing party in san diego

Captain Sandy, Chef Adam Glick, and Chartered Guests from Below Deck Mediterranean at viewing party for S2/Ep5 in San Diego.

The mascot will be used in a variety of ways. Here is an example of it being used in combination with her logo as a backdrop for public appearances.

 

As I’ve gotten to know Captain Sandy, I’ve come to admire her truly as a superhero in the field of merchant mariners. I look forward to illustrating more superhero characters, poses, and products as she develops her future projects and branding. Portions that I’m involved with, I will share with you here.

So stay tuned for more…

 

P.S. I recommend watching Captain Sandy and Below Deck Mediterranean on the Bravo Channel…it’s really an enjoyable show!

 


About Malane Newman
Malane Newman is a professional illustrator and cartoonist for over 25 years. She is a master with color and eye candy. She has illustrated a variety of consumer products such as games, childrens books, board games, food and product packaging, magazines, greeting cards, and other consumer products. She provides new character design for clients and offers the copyrights at affordable rates. She can match most cartooning styles and works with creative directors on licensed character art (Barbie, Popeye, The Swan Princess).

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