Mascot Logo Design, 2021
Concept For Indian River State College

“A New Chapter Starts Now”
– Challenge Accepted

Indian River State College has a new President, Dr. Timothy Moore, that reminds me of every great man I have ever admired and idolized. His vision, dedication, and compassion bring a welcome current of change to the college.

Under his leadership, IRSC is being transformed from a basic community college to a refined institution that focuses on connection. Not to discredit any prior administration, but it’s Dr. Moore’s challenge to the status quo that has ignited an untapped passion within the college. Not since 2008 has there been a better opportunity for a new chapter to begin.

The Spirited Otters?

I believe that otters would best represent IRSC as a mascot (See the Mascot Identity Crisis Part 1 and Part 2). Certainly, the “Pioneers” moniker may continue with an otter visual. But it’s better to accept change and find new ways to convey the pioneering spirit.

For instance, “The Spirited Otters”.

Being that the school is nicknamed “The River”, the otters will already be associated as river otters, however, the word spirited brings something else to the table – energy, enthusiasm, and determination.

These qualities are associated with the pioneering spirit, and by incorporating this term we continue the tradition of being pioneers, in spirit. It also recognizes and emphasizes the value that we place on it.

Spirit is vital and essential.

With spirit, all things are possible and life is lived with greater fervor.

The Design Process

My initial drawings are always a lesson in brainstorming. They’re not usually good, but you have to start somewhere. First, I sketched the idea with the large muzzle, small ears, and front teeth in mind. Next, after I achieved something recognizable enough, it was digitized.

The mascot sketch for the new concept in 2021.

Then, I experimented digitally with shape, line, and position. With psychological design in mind, the goal was to find a natural flow of elements that continue the development of the character.

For example, the eye shape was softened with a rounded upper corner to promote a less aggressive quality. Sharp corners in the eyes and teeth of a character can easily denote a nefarious nature. The head was tilted forward to present greater determination and involvement.

Whiskers and eyebrows were elements of the traditional otter character design that I ultimately dropped. Instead, the muzzle’s final furry shape insinuates whiskers. I favored a smooth brow area over the furry eyebrow appearance I found in other similar mascot designs.

Visual development resulted in 8 variations.

Color Theory
Yellow Is The Color Of Your Energy

My color choice for this mascot may come as a surprise to many. Speaking from experience, yellow is a difficult color to incorporate into many materials. It can easily overwhelm a design and is visually more intrusive than blue. At the college, we often defaulted to blue as our primary color choice in projects, leaving yellow as an accent color.

However, yellow is the best choice for a mascot at a school with blue and gold as the primary color palette. Yellow represents happiness, energy, and intellect. It stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy. It calls forth the athletes to perform with maximum effort, whether in the classroom or on the field. To the students that are meant to be inspired by a symbol that epitomizes the values laid forth by the school, this color is a mental wake-up call.

Naturally, it wasn’t my first choice. I defaulted to what I knew – blue. But a new chapter shouldn’t start with the same choices, so I made yellow work and I feel confident that my choice was an improvement.

Turn Up The Intensity

The mascot design really comes to life with highlights and shadows. Usually, logos are restricted to two or three colors, but when full color is a possibility, the symbol is given greater life and character. You can easily imagine the fur flowing under the water as the otter glides through it when the highlights and shadows are present.

Writer’s Block“, She Said.

In the film Dogma, a character called the Muse, played by Salma Hayek, is discovered working as a dancer in a club by a band of underdog adventurers. The Muse is a famous entity from Heaven responsible for inspiring many great works, so the group wonders why she’s working as a dancer at a club on Earth. She tells them that she came to Earth to receive recognition for her works rather than inspire others, however, she was struck with writer’s block when she arrived.

“I can inspire anyone I meet and give out a zillion and nine ideas a second, but I can’t keep any for myself.”


Likewise, I can manifest other’s ideas into visuals that they can be proud of, but for myself, I often struggle.

This particular mascot project has been one such situation. Most passion projects take a long time to complete because as we grow, our desires for the project grow with us. In short, I didn’t have the skill level necessary until now to complete this project in a satisfying way.

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone, especially my husband, Manny, that has supported my development as a graphic designer. For many years I’ve tried to change careers from collegiate retail to graphic design and only thanks to the support I’ve been given has that dream become a reality.

My primary goal in this project was self-satisfaction, on the other hand, I hope that this project inspires anyone struggling with an idea to continue moving forward in life with fervor and spirit.

Your struggle today enables you to provide the solution tomorrow. – Nolli The Creator


  1. This is amazing, Maurice. We have talked about an otter mascot for many years, and you did a fantastic job at bringing it to life. I hope under Tim’s leadership, we can FINALLY have a mascot.


    OUTSTANDING…I love your design and the reasoning behind the spirited otter! I vote for the spirited otter! Great job, my friend.

  3. Tammy Serrano says:

    I love it! Great job!

  4. Ashley Gilbert says:

    Wow!!!!!! I am truly blown away!!!!! The level of commitment and dedication to this vision—WOW!!!! You truly possess the spirit of a TRUE PIONEER—or Spirited Otter rather!!!!! ❤️🦦

  5. Gabi says:

    You have always since we were kids have been amazing at what you do!!!! Thanks for teaching me so much love you Bubs

  6. Karen Murphy says:

    Hello Maurice,
    Love your idea

  7. Karen M says:

    I have purchased three of these, one long sleeve, one hoodie and one short sleeve.
    Will be purchasing more. Nice work 😊

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