Some peeps on my course had taken some initiative over the summer and banded together to create a joint blog entitled WeDrawStuff – as soon as I saw it I thought it was a brilliant idea and I wanted in… which makes it a total mystery as to why it took me ALL SUMMER to join. Anyway, eventually join I did, and if you follow the link, there I am. unfortunately for me, I requested membership at the exact time they were experiencing a lull in ideas for the weekly topic, and therefore as part of my initiation, I not only had to come up with a topic, but also a banner to go atop the blog, to provide a theme. This was a little more than I had bargained for, but I eventually decided that what I would most like to do, is to redesign the London 2012 Olympic Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville (who you can find out more about here) because I hate them. Well, ‘hate’ is a little strong, I don’t hate the designs, I think they are very bland and unimaginative designs that any first year Uni student could some up with – what I ‘hate’ about them is that SOMEONE got PAID to design them! Grrr!
So anyway, first thing first, I had to design a banner. As our countries International reputation was at stake, I went for a parody of the famous YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU World War 1 posters featuring Lord Kitchener, except with a moody teenager version of Britannia instead (I have no idea why I made her moody…) giving the finger, rather than pointing with one…
Lord Kitchener style poster – I had to re-arrange the lettering for the blog’s banner
Next came the task of designing the new Mascots themselves. The little praise the original Wenlock and Mandeville DID gain, were that they avoided any cliché’s – but when you’re looking for something to represent your country, I don’t think you SHOULD avoid clichés – you need familiar symbols and colours that people can rally behind and support – do you think if you told New Yorker’s they couldn’t use the Statue Of Liberty to represent their city as it was a massive cliché that they’d actually LISTEN to you?! Of course not! So I went with two animals that (despite one of them being a native african) are the definition of BRITISH – a Lion and a Bulldog. I had initially toyed with the idea of two native british animals, such as a fox and a badger, but they are very much country animals, and the Olympics will be in the middle of London, so if I wanted to go with relevant animals, I would have had to pick a Pigeon and a Rat, and I didn’t see how that would work (although if you visit the WeDrawStuff bog, you’ll see that Daisy managed to make it work just fine!) so I started with the lion character…
As you can see, designing the lion character proved the most problematic (click to enlarge), but after that the characters just spilled out of me….
Mandeville: Energetic Lion always keen to prove himself, he takes part in the running, relay, jumping and cycling events
Wenlock: Muscle-bound Bulldog who despite his gruff exterior, is a real team player. He’s a keen wrestler and takes part in the fighting, lifting and throwing events
Britanni: Graceful Spirit of Great Britain, who is determined and focused, and whose kind and caring nature often has to make way for the fiery temper she needs to employ to keep her pets Wenlock and Mandeville from being TOO competitive. She takes part in the dance, gymnastics and swimming events.
So there you have it, all three mascots. I decided to keep the names Wenlock and Mandeville, as they weren’t bad names, with good origins (see Wenlock and Mandeville link above for more details) and besides, Much Wenlock is right next to where I used to live, so it had sentimental value for me. I also kept the Olympic-Rings-as-arm-bands idea from the original design, as other than the names, they were the only part I actually liked. The third character Britanni (I really hate that name, but it works so well) was simply a way to tie everything together, and provide a ‘little girl friendly’ mascot that could be bought alongside the more macho Wenlock and Mandeville, pleasing a bigger audience, and creating more money for me muhahah! The final image of them all together is below, featuring a whole bunch of new tricks I’ve just learned on Photoshop, and I’m really pleased with it 🙂