Mascot Design for NSW Fire Brigade

Mascot Design for NSW Fire Brigade

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Good Evil

This is a post showing you some of my work from University and the thought process behind my designs. Just out of curiosity, what do you see first, GOOD or EVIL in the optical illusion above?

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The Brief:

Design a promotional cartoon character (mascot) for the NSW Rural Fire Brigade that can be used in a wide range of promotional material from brochures, TV, clothing, fliers and the internet. The purpose of the promotional campaign is to minimise the occurrence of uncontrolled burning and fire devastation in residential and bushland areas and to educate the public in how to prevent bushfires. Think of a name for your mascot and design a suitable typeface for the name.

Submit two versions of your mascot, a Photoshop CMYK version and an Illustrator 3 colour PMS version.

Problem Redefined:

Create a mascot that will appeal to all NSW Residents, both adults and children and can be used across a variety of media. The mascot must make residents take action to prevent further bush fires.

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This was my first ever illustration so I needed to do research more than ever. I researched mascot design, character design and my biggest downfall… drawing.


After a lot of research I brainstormed different ideas and had a lot of sketches however I kept coming back to the usual clichés. ie. a fire ball, a water man, a super hero, a fireman, etc and I wasn’t happy with these clichés as I wanted to do something original.


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I ended up taking a different spin on the project…. I made an evil character called ‘Match Man’, one that lights fires.

This evil character engages all of the target audience as it is not your usual friendly mascot and due to the evil nature of the mascot, it will make people take action to prevent further bush fires. People will want to help fight the ‘evil’ fires.

Illustrator 3 PMS Colour Version

The colours used were Pantone 192C, Pantone 107C and Pantone Black C.


Photoshop CMYK Version


What do you think? What can I Improve? Have any links?

19 thoughts on “Mascot Design for NSW Fire Brigade”

  1. I saw good. Does that make me good? 🙂

    Like the evil mascot, especially the photoshop version… the only thing I would change is the mouth… the shape doesn’t seem quite right somehow. Might also be better if it wasn’t simply white… yellowish maybe? Just a minor point seeing as you’re asking for improvements. It’s an excellent illustration.

  2. Hi Johan,thanks for the resources, I had actually already printed off the mascots at smashing mag, I also used the drunken monkey tutorial they had. N Design actually was where I did my first illustrator tutorial, they are both great resources.

    Stephen, I first saw good as well but now every time I look at it I see evil, a pretty clever little illustration.

    Thanks regarding the feedback, always appreciated. I agree about the mouth. The project was due today so everything has been printed off but I will play around with it still.

    Kelly, well it wasn’t really a bore, it was actually pretty fun, it is just that I am not a strong drawer so it took a while for me to come up with workable concepts and drawings. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  3. Jacob,

    I saw “good” first. Cup-half-full kinda person. And it’s nicely done.

    I don’t think the execution of the Pshop version of the match is bad. Maybe the brief just didn’t grab you. It sounds like you tried turning the concept inside out a few ways, which is great, but you just didn’t find a direction that could light your own fire. Ahem.

    I remember many profs who seemed to delight in throwing projects at us that were utter bores. When you get out of school, you say “I’ll never do that again,” then you find that 90% of what’s out there is a bore unless you make it something more. Then suddenly, it’s all a thrill and a challenge.

    So that’s what all the boring projects were supposed to teach us!



    Kelly’s last blog post..Spectacular Failure

  4. A good job there Jacob, i quite enjoyed this assignment as well. I think you executed your illustration quite well to be honest, even though you say drawing isn’t your strength.

    Oh and i saw “Good”, ever the optimist i suppose.

  5. Ah thanks. Well I suppose it is ok just nothing I am really proud of. I had a look at your mascot, I like the photoshop version… did you follow a tutorial for it?

  6. Thanks Jacob, I didn’t follow any tutorials persay, i tried using a similar technique i used on another work that’s in my dA gallery.

    I painted by tablet then using pen tool to make path selections to smooth out the areas(highlights and shadows), and in some areas i turned the selections into gradients.

    I originally wanted to try something cel shaded but it didn’t turn out so well.

  7. I have not heard of the term cel shaded, what is that all about?
    I am yet to try out a tablet, something on my to do list. I asked Rodger about it but he forgot to bring it 😐

  8. By cel shading i mean mimicking the colour effects that are used in cel based animation, such as Disney Movies. I’ve always been captivated by it.

    Tablets, i can tell you mate, are a lot of fun to use. They are difficult to get used to at first though. That’s bad luck about Rodger though, hopefully he’ll remember this week.

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