I’ve been a long time Japanophile. I’ve previously discussed vending machines. Japanese web design. Auto racing. And robots. But somehow, I’ve never branched out to mascots. Until now…

I’ve been inspired by the Mondo Mascots Twitter account for some time. And it prompted me to understand more about Yuru-chara and Kawaii. Yuru-chara is the Japanese term used to describe a mascot for an organization, cause, region or event. Their design is typically Kawaii-inspired – in simple terms it means ‘cute’. Here’s a pretty good article on Yuru-chara. And for a better scoop on kawaii and specifically why it is more than just ‘cute’, check this out.

And I realized something. If there can be a mascot for processed fish filets, there can be a mascot for almost anything. Including my newsletter, Inc! So I set about that process with a long time collaborator and friend, Jonathan Foerster. I had the general concept and he has the artistic talent and vision to bring it alive. It’s like a lightbulb went off.

The Inc! mascot would clearly have to incorporate a lightbulb in the design, and of course appear friendly, energetic and cute. Here is the initial v1.

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Although adorable, it could probably be more so.

And wanting to ensure it was maximizing its adorability potential, we ended up here taking it to the next level. Drum roll please…

Lil’ Inc! is the fun loving mascot for the Inc! newsletter. He has a big heart, small appendages and loves to share ideas.

Yep, this is the winner.

So the next time you are working on your own business, side-hustle, campaign, non-profit, event or campaign, ask yourself one question.

Why doesn’t this have a mascot?