Back in 2020, I took place in a competition creating a mascot for the Nationalpark Hunsrück-Hochwald. The mascot should resemble the main characteristics of the forest and include a wildcat, as it is the forest’s heraldic animal.
I wanted to create a character full of symbolic meanings and friendly appearance to make it look welcoming and child friendly. As the region has a strong historical relation to the Celtic time, I wanted to include the best-known Celtic items in the character’s costume.
Character design elements
The mascot’s general appearance resembles a wildcat. Including the characteristic color of the fur as well as its pattern makes it easy to identify the mascot as such. The free-living and non-domestic part is shown due to the fluffy and not perfectly straight hair of the cat’s tail.
The mascot has a gentle smile on his face, his bright turquoise eyes are wide open and full of interest amongst the viewer. The color of the eyes is similar to the wildcat’s eyes but way brighter and more intense to give the mascot a bewitching touch.
The character’s cloak is colored in a warm orange-brown and full of detail relating to the Celtic and nature. The cloak itself resembles a Celtic clothing item and is held together by a brooch. The Celtic equivalent is called ‘sagum’ and ‘fibel’. The symbol shown on the brooch is called ‘triskele’ and resembles the path of life. The cloak’s edging is embellished with a Celtic knot and a floral print. The flowers resemble the native arnica plant.
The mascot does not represent an ordinary wild cat, but the spirit of the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park.
The triskele, which symbolizes the way of life or also the past, present, and future, embodies both the enduring high forest and the historical and cultural background. The spirit of the national park has seen and experienced all phases and changes of the area in its life. This not only allows stories to be told but also communicates them through this popular figure on a level that is suitable for every age group.
The reoccurring Celtic symbols can be also without in-depth knowledge identify as such, making the mascot achieve a greater range. The clothing is colored in warm red tones which reinforce the welcome and friendly charisma. The eyes, on the other hand, are kept cool and complementary. This aspect balances the color ratio and at the same time acts as an eye-catcher. Furthermore, they should clarify the symbolism of a spirit through its unnatural coloring.