Of Mascots and their Creators

Sometime back, I read some interesting comments on why Sri Lanka has no good designers (See www.nidahas.com). Lack of training and coaching facilities, no proper design schools, not getting paid well etc. were some of the reasons discussed.

This mascot of the SAF Games - the infamous Pandan Allan Kukula - is a testimony to the calibre of self-acclaimed 'designers' we have today. It is such crap and a load of shite, it makes me want to puke. I'm so shameful to be born in a country that qualifies such crap to be national symbols.

Here are my two cents to the designer. I hope you'll take it as constructive criticism and do something better next time. (That is if there IS a next time)

1. A Mascot is a mascot, not a real animal. Understand your brief first.
2. Create a mascot based on the real animal. Give him a personality, make him adorable. Bring him to life.
3. Inject the spirit of the event to the mascot - if it is sports, make him playful.
4. Give a name. Christen your child. Call him something. I still remember my Mishka (aka Misha) I got from Moscow Olympics, and this year's Football mascot is Goleo vi. His football is Pille.
5. Make sure your mascot is versatile. Remember he is going to be used commercially to generate funds.
6. Make him flexible in application. Make sure the mascot reproduces well in different mediums, processes and material etc.
7. Read, read, read. Do some research and learn what the world has done. Look at the Football World-Cup Mascot, look at Olympic mascots. Learn from them, get inspired by them, and do better than them.
8. Take ownership. Set up guidelines.
9. Offer a digital library of poses and applications. Don't let others massacre your baby.
10. Remember, simplicity is key. Don't complicate your design.

There's more, but at least try to stick to these basics - you won't go wrong.

I wouldn't blame the "designer" for this disaster, the governing body of the SAF Games Sri Lanka should have had some better brains. People, if you know that you are in the wrong job, please, please leave. Leave with dignity - don't hang around and expose your ignorance and stupidity. You are bringing shame not only unto yourself, but to the whole nation.


  1. you wouldnt happen to have a pic of this umm...kukula would you?

  2. I know you didn’t blame on designers entirely. It is not their fault entirely. It is extremely hard to find a good designers. But still we have some good designers in Sri Lanka.

    It took around 200 years to build up the brand name ‘Ceylon Tea’ – it had reputation – it had character – it was part of lot of people’s life all around the world. I heard somewhere we have change that brand name in to ‘Sri Lankan Tea’.

    My point is – designers or advertisers or even media can’t express themselves freely especially when it comes to government jobs. Government have good reputation acting as a schoolmaster.

  3. Looking at your 2 cents, it seems you could do a hell of a lot better than these "designers". Definitely better than the one who created the kukula. Looks as if his only inspiration was Sri Lankan airlines' logo!