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A new potential client has reached out to me to design a logo that features a mascot. This mascot would need to poised in different positions and needs to be animated. Does this sound more like a job for an illustrator?

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  • Based on this information alone it's impossible to say what skill sets are required. What does the mascot look like? What mediums will this need to be created in? What art style is it created in? – Zach Saucier Mar 9 '20 at 0:11
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    Based purely on your 2 sentences here.. yes it'll require some form of illustrative skill. – Scott Mar 9 '20 at 9:59
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    even based on the first sentence alone: you need to draw a mascot... – Luciano Mar 9 '20 at 10:06
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    Sounds like they need an animator. Going rate for character animation is a bit different than graphic design, just saying. – joojaa Mar 9 '20 at 10:36
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    "logo" "be animated". I think this should be a pass as clent might not be fully aware of what they're asking for, – SZCZERZO KŁY Mar 9 '20 at 16:42
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When in doubt, ask for references or provide references (actual photos of existing 'mascot' logos, think Michelin, Jaguar, WWF, etc), to help yourself and the client identify the type of work needed, then figure out if that's something you can actually do.

This is the typical case of a vague briefing that only reveals itself in full after the terms (timeline, payment) have been already established.

Do not take the job until you completely understand what the job is about.

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  • This is good sound advice, thanks Lucian. – Heidi Mar 14 '20 at 19:11
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The answer is that it will either require an illustrator (capable of performing a limited number of poses and familiar with how 2d animations are executed) or a 3d artist that can create a model (also familiar with how 3d animations are executed.

For character animations, I would first inquire with the client to determine just what sort of form these animations will take. If there's numerous rotations involved and it's not just flat directional stuff -- Then definitely get the mascot created in 3d.

If the artist is unfamiliar with how to execute animations -- Then you will need an animator as well. For myself, when I'm working on games and need to execute character animations, I've turned to Spline from Esoteric Software. It's a very popular package used outside of Unity -- Largely for how simple it is to use and create animation data that can be brought into Unity.

Here's a link to their site: https://esotericsoftware.com/spine-purchase

If you're up to the challenge and have a good sense of motion, you could have the character developed and tackle the animations yourself through Spline or a similar product (there's also Adobe Animate). For me, I really got into spline in no time flat -- but I also have a long history with Flash.

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  • "If there's numerous rotations involved and it's not just flat directional stuff -- Then definitely get the mascot created in 3d." - Depending on the art style and skill set of the creator, doing multiple 2d versions may very well be easier. A lot of 3D animation isn't that easy :) – Zach Saucier Mar 9 '20 at 0:10
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    @ZachSaucier animation is tedious no matter what. Many people equate tedoiusness as hard but its not. Just a lot of work. Since all animation is tedious all animation software including 3D have a focus that is alien to people who are not a history of making tools to make their life easier. – joojaa Mar 9 '20 at 8:55
  • @ZachSaucier -- I completely agree with joojaa. 2D animation is actually a lot harder to pull off these days, because you have very defined limits to what you can do -- And it is really easy to come off as cheese. With a 3D Model in hand, there's really no limit to what can be accomplished. With the right software, however, it is really easy to get to the end game in short order. The stuff I'm seeing today on the market is really quite amazing and has a short learning curve. Back in the day, it started with Poser and everything in that app was just plain cheesy. :( – 2Advanced Mar 9 '20 at 23:21
  • 2Advanced, thanks for your detailed reply, much appreciated! – Heidi Mar 14 '20 at 19:12

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