Hi, my name is Emili Horncastle. I'm the Marketing & Strategic Development manager here at Zapiet and also the creator of our new mascot.
Back in 2016, when I joined Zapiet as a Designer responsible for the rebranding, it was incredibly exciting for me to get to know all the British cultural references that we could use. I was always very passionate about history, and diving into the world of British visual references sounded absolutely brilliant!
The first challenge I had after the main rebrand was to introduce an avatar to help us represent some actions needed in our general imagery and also within the app's interface itself. This was when I designed Zack, who was inspired by the looks of our CEO.
What do you guys think?
For about 3 years, Zack was completely alone in the World of Zapiet's graphics, so we decided after a meeting that we'd create a little friend to help compose more graphics with Zack.
By this point, we didn't yet know what kind of friend they would be, a human avatar, an animal, or a robot. As the task was in my hands, I decided to start looking for inspiration.
As I was living in England, it made my challenge a little easier to search for inspiration. So I started my research as ever in books, then searched around antique shops. I started gathering visual references with many aesthetic appeals, including the Welsh flag with the image of a mighty red dragon that I always loved the design of!
The following week I visited London. While walking around, I noticed the London City logo, which also contained a dragon that stuck in my mind. I was on my way to the National History Museum to see what else I could find as inspiration, as the deadline for the project was getting closer and closer.
The one section of the museum that I was the most enthusiastic to visit was the dinosaur rooms. I do love dinosaurs! I passed by an animatronic of a T-rex, then I imagined what if a T-rex could fly? It would be terrifying! But what if it was a cute flying T-rex with some dragon characteristics? It was a euphoric eureka moment. Let's create a unique creature ... a DINODRANGONSAURUS!
I presented my idea to the CEO and the team. To my surprise, nobody told me I had been a bit crazy. But just concerned about how the creature would look visually because, at that moment, it was just living in my mind!
These are my first sketches of our new team member – Zapietousaurus.
Then, applying him to a design with Zack. Here is how I design graphically, matching the color with our branding and with Zack as they'll be best friends. It was a little challenging to figure out how to use both together. Then I remembered Mario Bros riding Yoshi, so why not design Zack riding Zapietousaurus?
The last step was to build a model.
I hope you guys enjoyed learning more about our creative process. If you liked this blog, check out our YouTube channel for more insights on Zapiet's lifestyle!