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For over 6 years, my team and I at Visme have dedicated our professional lives to creating a different design tool. A tool that is similar to other design tools but yet very different.
Visme is a tool that goes beyond static graphics and cookie-cutter presentations, to empower millions of non-designers to quickly create engaging content in all common visual formats that they can be proud of.
My vision of Visme becoming the “Ultimate Design Tool” came one step closer on February 24th when we launched our latest release dubbed “Visme Unleashed.”
I believe a great tool deserves a great mascot. One that embodies everything Visme stands for, that emotionally explains and connects the dots between Visme the tool and Visme the solution, solving and removing design and content barriers for people.
A representation of something that could portray Visme – have human emotions but also not be human, have superpowers but not feel out of this world.
We depicted the mascot in a neat explainer video about Visme the product and Visme the brand. It was one of the more complex challenges I had taken up to bring Visme to life.
This side project with many late-nighters along with my creative team took countless hours (over 1,000). The process involved lots of little experimenting and problem-solving.
If you didn’t see the video yet, here it is!
In the end, it was worth the pain. We have a unique mascot that I believe is an awesome representation of Visme the product, and Visme the brand.
We are all very excited about Visme’s new brand mascot. Celebrate with us as we share the process of how it came to life. From my first ideas back in 2019 to the animated video above. Plus some spoilers about what we have in store later this year.
There were four people involved in the creation of our brand mascot and its animated video. Each one had a specific role but it truly was a group effort at every step of the process.
The entire design process took more than 6 months and it was all remote. Each of us works in different parts of the world!
We used tools like Loom and Slack to communicate with each other about what we were working on and to give each other feedback. In the end, we learned a lot about working on a creative project as a remote team.
When Monfa and I talked about what our brand mascot should be like, we considered a few things about Visme as a brand. Below are the most prominent.
I knew we needed a brand mascot that was special and out of the box. Something different from what you would expect from a digital brand.
We researched brand mascots used by other digital companies. Some were robots or an AI style character. Other brands had animals or cute creatures as mascots.
For example, the Mailchimp logo that used to be a chimp mascot before it was just a logo. Or the Kellog’s frosted flakes tiger who we all love as an animal brand mascot. The Android and Vidyard brand mascots have a limited range of emotions and engagement.
Even the adorable Meet Edgar octopus is static. The most fitting idea to what we were looking for, neither robot nor animal, was the animated pair of anthropomorphic M&M’s. Yet, they were still not exactly what we were after.
We want to show you our process for designing the Visme mascot. Since we love doing things visually, we created a timeline infographic to visualize how pencil sketches in Mexico progressed to an animated video in St. Petersburg via Washington, DC and Costa Rica.
It’s common for illustrators and creatives to be inspired by the memories of the cartoons and animations they watched as kids. This definitely happened when Monfa started sketching the Visme mascot.
A strong presence of popular culture went into the creation of our mascot, memories of animated characters that came to life like magic. Characters like Pinocchio, Buzz Lightyear, Mazinger Z and Beymax were all visual and emotional inspiration.
These inspirations were prevalent in how the Visme brand mascot looked at the beginning.
The first visual representation of the Visme brand mascot looked like the giant friendly robots from the 80’s Ghibli fairy tales and science fiction movies.
It was those stories, full of innovative technologies and retro-futuristic stories that first brought life to our brand mascot.
As Monfa’s sketches progressed, we communicated daily about how it was coming along. We joked a few times about how this process was like trying to write a piece of music that we could hear in our heads. We aren’t musicians, but that’s what we felt!
All in all, illustrating an idea and composing music is a creative process and it takes a lot of passion and communication.
Apart from the inspiration Monfa took from our childhood memories, we also needed to tap into the visual aspect of the Visme brand. Monfa deconstructed the Visme logo into its parts.
The colorful petals were transformed into a headpiece for the mascot. The design of the circular iris was turned into the two eyes.
The final design of how the logo was represented in the brand mascot took some time to come to fruition. Monfa and I realized that the best solution was to stick to the original forms and not veer too far away from the details.
Once we were content with an initial representation of our brand mascot, it was time for Diego to put together some 3D models and for Andrey to animate them.
Monfa finalized the first design of the brand mascot on Illustrator. For Diego to be able to sculpt the brand mascot, Monfa illustrated all sides of the body in detail.
Diego used Blender to transfer the 2D illustrations into a 3D model. At this stage, it wasn’t necessary to give the model too much detail because we needed to conduct animation tests first.
Andrey used the first 3D models to animate the brand mascot in a way that would visualize our goals for it.
During this first movement and interaction testing phase, the character still had legs. We noticed that by having legs, the mascot was limited in the possibilities of agile movement.
Monfa went back to the 2D illustration and switched the legs for a wheel and rocket contraption. He also minimized the size of the torso to reduce the feeling of a giant character.
This change was pivotal to the direction we wanted the mascot to go in. Along with the super agile wheel/rocket base that would permit the mascot to move in any direction, Monfa also added magnetic joints for the arms and waist. The head was already floating above the torso from the beginning.
We conducted many back and forth tests to see how the new body could move and interact with other elements, people and ambiance. It was time to start animating the facial expressions and give the mascot some final details.
These details were important so that the personality of the mascot would come through. While we needed the mascot to roll, fly, and move around freely, we also wanted it to have fun, intriguing gestures, and special interactions.
The four of us worked really well together to get to this point. Now it was time to create the environment in which our mascot would represent our brand in the most personable way possible.
Monfa has been illustrating for Visme for a long time and knows perfectly well what the brand is all about. That’s why as the team was working on bringing the mascot to life, Monfa was illustrating all the secondary characters and scenery for the explainer video.
Diego once again was in charge of modeling all of Monfa illustrations into 3D elements. Andrey added motion graphics, animation, and movement following a storyboard that I put together with Monfa.
The purpose of the explainer video with our brand mascot was to present both the character and the brand as one seamless idea. For there to be no difference between one and the other. We created our brand mascot not just to represent the brand, but to BE the brand. That’s why the video also had to represent the Visme environment as a whole.
If you notice, there is no visible horizon to the space in which all the action takes place. Everything is white and seemingly empty space. Just how our creative minds need space to fly, so does Visme. That’s how with this vast white space we visualized the infinite possibilities of visual creation with Visme.
I’d like to say how proud I am of this team from across the world. It’s so inspiring to have managed to create this first video with the Visme brand mascot while not being in the same place at the same time.
This isn’t all you’ll see from our brand mascot, Visme the SaaS in the cloud. We have lots of plans to take the mascot on different adventures. From short videos to social media ads, fun animated interactions with our website and much more.
Monfa is currently illustrating new environments for our brand mascot to engage with. Diego is sculpting Monfa’s illustrations and Andrey is animating them. We have created a perfect system with the first video and we have no plan to stop. Stay tuned for a lot more!
We hope you enjoyed seeing how we created the Visme brand mascot with our remote team. We had so much fun creating it and we can’t wait to show you more.
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