Smart Seal

This is a trademark character I created several years ago for a line of pool coating products.

When doing characters like this, I'm working in that grey area between illustrator and graphic designer, and it often becomes necessary to deviate from my typical style. In this case, the end-user is a contractor and predominantly male , so it wouldn't do to create anything that evoked cereal boxes or TV animation. I drew inspiration from industrial-looking characters from the 40's and 50's, and went heavy on the black.

Here are some early sketches:

At the eleventh hour, some concerns were raised about the design of the seal's face. Fortunately, the budget allowed for some experimentation. Number two below was chosen and then revised somewhat to arrive at the final character.

The response to the designs once implemented, was very positive, and I created three more versions of the seal in various poses. I give a great deal of credit to designer Cheryl Smith, who was fabulous to work with. She even provided me with the exquisite image at the top.

Click on any image to see a larger version.