The Risk and Reward of Not Looking Like Everyone Else

Updated: Jun 5


Character design is a real job?

The first professional job I ever did was a character design for an extremely  large beer company back in the 80’s. As a college student it was a very big deal. They handed me a fat check along with a contract and samples of a beer they hadn’t even released. I had no idea at the time that there were people who actually did this type of work for a living but I knew right away this was the life for me. A few years later I started my own business creating and working with licensed characters. Since then I’ve worked with all kinds of companies, some large and known around the world others small and independent. To me the size of the company is not important. What I like to focus on is how I can best help them stand out and get noticed with fun characters and a unique marketing plan.

Tilt365

A little over two years ago I began working with Tilt365. They wanted something unique and fun to help deliver their message. The first order of business was a total redesign of the characters they had been using before I joined them. The roll of the new characters was to engage their audience, help lighten the message and most importantly be unique. That was no small task but I’m always up for a challenge.

Playing it safe

All too often I see companies totally drop the ball when it comes to developing a strategy that allows them to stand out and be noticed. Unfortunately the process usually goes something like this… The company spends a lot of time, money and effort putting together the perfect product. They research, develop and perfect every angle but when it comes time to develop their brand they wind up looking like everyone else. One looks like another, looks like another, until pretty soon they all blend together and you can’t tell them apart.

Why do they do this? Why does everyone want to look the same? Well, frankly it because it’s safe. It’s safe, predictable and there’s very little risk. The problem with safe, predictable and low risk is that it all adds up to one giant snooze fest. Just think about how many times you’ve had to sit through a presentation where it’s page after page of text, charts and graphs, no thanks.

Standing out

To stand out from your competitors you must be willing to try something different. You have to be willing to take a risk and not fall prey to the temptation of playing it safe. Nothing that changed the world ever did so by playing it safe. Tilt365 did not want to look like everyone else and that’s where I came in, luckily it’s what I do best. I realize risk can be scary but do you know what’s scarier? Playing it safe, blending in and getting lost in the crowd.

Stay tuned for more Tilt updates tomorrow as we spend the week celebrating our new book release, Tilt Presence. Being the calm in a sea of noise.

#illustrator #Characterdesign #cartoonlogo #cartooning