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In an increasingly digital and visual world, school branding is crucial in establishing an institution’s identity and creating a sense of belonging among students. At the heart of this branding is often a mascot logo, a symbol that embodies a school’s spirit, values, and aspirations.

But like all aspects of design, mascot logos are subject to trends and shifts in style. Understanding these trends can help schools stay contemporary, appealing, and relevant to their students and community.

This article will delve into the popular mascot logo trends for schools in 2023, providing insights into the latest styles, color schemes, and designs that are making waves in school branding.

animated school mascot design

Simplified and Minimalistic Mascot Designs

In 2023, one of the prevalent trends in mascot logo design is the shift toward simplicity and minimalism. These designs strip away unnecessary details and focus on the essence of the mascot. They are easy to identify, memorable, and versatile – critical attributes in a world where logos must work across various digital and physical platforms.

Simplicity doesn’t mean a loss of personality or character. Designers achieve this through clever use of shapes, solid colors, and carefully chosen details that encapsulate the mascot’s character. Schools looking to modernize their mascot logos can consider adopting a more simplified design, which can stand the test of time and resonate across different age groups.

Here are some key insights:

  1. Use of Shapes and Colors: Simplified mascot designs often rely on the clever use of shapes and colors.
  2. Abstract Representation: These designs often feature an abstract representation of the mascot.
  3. Focus on Character: Although these designs are minimalistic, they retain the mascot’s character.
  4. Versatility: These designs are created to be versatile, with the ability to be easily recognized across various digital and physical platforms.
  5. Incorporating the Essence: These designs encapsulate the essence of the mascot.
lion school mascot design example

Mascots in Motion

Another emerging trend is mascots in motion. With the rise of digital platforms, static mascot logos are evolving into dynamic ones. Animated logos or mascots can add a sense of energy and life, making them more engaging and relatable.

This trend can particularly appeal to younger audiences who are used to consuming animated and video content. From a simple wink or wave to a full-on dance routine, adding motion to your mascot can make it more lively and endearing to your students and community.

This trend involves taking the traditional static mascot logos and infusing them with energy and life through animation. This transformation from static to dynamic is accomplished through software such as Adobe Animate, which streamlines the complex animation process, making it accessible for everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros.

Animated logos or mascots add a touch of fun and professionalism to any platform, from websites and social media posts to YouTube channels and presentations. The creative possibilities are endless, from a logo reveal where the mascot is animated into place to video intros featuring full-screen scrolling effects to animation loops that add subtle movement to the mascot. These techniques can effectively showcase custom typography and illustration, adding interest without distracting the viewer​3​.

Creating an animated mascot involves a few key steps: importing the logo file or creating it in the animation software. The timeline is then set up, with layers created for each piece of the animation. Frames and keyframes are picked and arranged, dictating when each element of the animation should start and finish. Effects are added within the selected keyframes, after which the animation is tested and exported in the desired format.

This trend of mascots in motion is particularly appealing to younger audiences, who are more accustomed to consuming animated and video content. The movement can range from a simple wink or wave to a full-on dance routine, injecting a sense of liveliness into the mascot. This can make the mascot more endearing to students and the wider community, effectively enhancing the brand’s appeal and resonance.

Logo mascots, ranging from simple doodles to full personalities, are increasingly being seen in doodle, cartoon illustration, and fully animated forms. This trend presents an opportunity for schools to create a friend of their own, a mascot that students can relate to, engage with, and ultimately, take pride in. As such, schools looking to modernize their mascot logos may consider hopping on this trend, harnessing the power of animation to bring their mascots to life.

colorful gator school mascot design

Bold and Vibrant Colors

In 2023, bold and vibrant colors are in vogue. Moving away from traditional school colors, many institutions opt for brighter, more saturated hues for their mascot logos. These colors make the logos more eye-catching and exude a sense of energy and enthusiasm, aligning with the spirit of youth and education.

This trend doesn’t mean abandoning your school’s traditional colors. Instead, it suggests reinterpreting them in a more vibrant palette or using bold colors as accents or highlights in your mascot logo.

This trend is driven by the desire to create eye-catching and energetic designs that stand out in digital platforms and physical materials. The goal is to resonate with the spirit of youth and education, making the designs more appealing and engaging to a younger audience.

These vibrant colors can be used as the primary colors in the logo or as accents to the traditional school colors. For instance, a school with blue and white as its traditional colors might introduce a vibrant yellow or red as an accent in the mascot logo. This doesn’t mean abandoning the school’s traditional colors but reinterpreting them more dynamically and modernly.

However, it’s important to note that while bold and vibrant colors can make a logo more distinctive and memorable, the colors chosen should still be appropriate for the brand’s identity and target audience. They should also work together to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing design.

Regarding tools for creating such vibrant logos, Adobe Illustrator is a popular choice among designers. It offers a wide range of tools and features for creating vector graphics, making it ideal for designing logos that can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.

diverse school mascot design

Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity

Mascot logos reflect a school’s values, and in 2023, diversity and inclusivity will be more important than ever. Many schools are rethinking their mascots to ensure they represent and respect the diverse backgrounds and cultures of their students and communities.

This trend can manifest in various ways. It might involve choosing a mascot that’s not gender-specific or human-specific, such as an animal or a mythical creature. Alternatively, it could be about representing diversity within a human mascot, such as showing them in different skin tones, abilities, or cultural attire.

The trend of embracing diversity and inclusivity in mascot design reflects the growing importance of representation and respect for different backgrounds and cultures. In this context, the design of school mascots is being rethought and reimagined.

Diversity and inclusivity in mascot design can take various forms. One approach involves the choice of mascots that are not specific to any gender or even humans, such as animals or mythical creatures. This allows for a broad appeal and avoids the potential for exclusion or stereotyping.

Another approach focuses on representation within human mascots. This could mean designing mascots with different skin tones, abilities, or cultural attire to reflect the diversity of the community the school serves. The idea here is to create a mascot that all students can identify with, which respects and celebrates their diverse backgrounds and cultures.

While specific examples of such mascots were not found during the research, the principles of diversity and inclusivity are widely recognized as important in design and branding. The psychology of color is one area that can be leveraged to influence perceptions and responses and can be used in mascot design to evoke specific feelings or associations​.

However, it’s important to note that achieving diversity and inclusivity in mascot design requires careful thought and sensitivity. It involves more than just changing the appearance of a mascot; it’s about ensuring that the design truly respects and represents the diversity of the community it serves.


Staying current with mascot logo trends can help schools resonate more with their students and community and enhance theirbranding efforts. In 2023, trends like simplified designs, mascots in motion, bold colors, and the representation of diversity and sustainability are shaping the landscape of mascot logo design. By understanding these trends, schools can create mascot logos that not only embody their spirit and values but also reflect the contemporary aesthetics and social consciousness of their times.

However, while trends offer valuable insights, it’s crucial to remember that a mascot logo’s primary purpose is to represent the unique identity and values of a school. Therefore, each school should approach these trends in ways that align with their unique context and ethos.

Furthermore, rebranding or updating a mascot logo is a significant endeavor that involves not just design work but also stakeholder engagement, communications, and implementation across various platforms. Schools considering this step should engage professional branding services to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

In the end, a well-designed mascot logo can be a powerful tool for fostering school spirit, unity, and pride. And by staying current with design trends, schools can ensure their mascots continue to be a source of inspiration and pride for their students and community for years to come.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & CEO of School Branding Agency. Since 1998, Mash has helped conscious brands differentiate themselves and AWAKEN through Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design. Schedule a Brand Strategy Video Call with Mash.