Who we are

We are the developers of Plastic SCM, a full version control stack (not a Git variant). We work on the strongest branching and merging you can find, and a core that doesn't cringe with huge binaries and repos. We also develop the GUIs, mergetools and everything needed to give you the full version control stack.

If you want to give it a try, download it from here.

We also code SemanticMerge, and the gmaster Git client.

Introducing the new mascot for Plastic SCM

Wednesday, December 05, 2018 Pablo Santos 0 Comments

We are happy to announce we have a new mascot!

A clever owl that represents a wise librarian. As version control developers, we love the idea of Plastic being the librarian of your projects, and a wise one indeed :-)

Plastic SCM new mascot

The idea

We love the concept of being the keepers of your projects and their history. We love the idea of preserving every single change, every small detail or radical evolution that made your software reach its current status. Performing these activities proficiently is something we hold close to our hearts.

That is why we see Plastic as a wise librarian who preserves everything and who knows the location of everything. It is the place where you can go and ask why a change was made and understand its implications.

As book lovers, we are also in love with great libraries as a source of wisdom and as beautiful places to spend time.

We mixed all these ideas together and we came up with a new mascot – a wise owl embodied this concept perfectly.

In action

The mascot entered into action as part of the new event-triggered/context-driven help system released in Nov 22nd. It shows relevant information to help you discover new features and guide you to becoming a version control expert. And the mascot helps add some color and fun.

Plastic SCM - New mascot in macOS

There are may variations, including she-owls, jedi-owls and more :-)

The mascot design process

By Fernando Val, our resident designer.



We are going to share a little bit of the design process behind creating the new mascot, hope you find it interesting :-)

Introduction

In the Product Design Squad kick-off meeting, we agreed to explore and develop the concept of a "wise owl". We thought it represented all the values that Plastic SCM embodies.

Business goals and mascot personality

Core concepts:

  • Key ideas: Librarian – Wise, History keeper, Knows everything, Careful, Wise, With access to full deposited knowledge.
  • Secondary ideas: Sometimes: Funny – Cool – Energetic - Plastic SCM Team is a group of craftsmen.
OTI matrix
Concept catalog

Mascot design

As a designer, this is my favorite phase. It is all about creativity, and about exploring different paths. I like to create a number of pen and paper sketches before jumping to the computer. Here go a few sketches showing how the owl mascot started:

Pen and paper sketches

It took me a while to come up with those, but then I thought it was good to share with the team. We decided to stick to owl in the top right, and then it went from paper to digital as follows:

Final mascot

Mascot development

Once we had a clear idea for the mascot, it was time to choose a color palette as well as other visual elements. I tried to blend them under a unified, harmonic style that matched the colors and overall look and feel we want for the entire Plastic website and products.

Here go a couple of examples: first the owl in a library, with a funny touch because some books are not in perfect order, something I know will make some of our engineers go crazy ;-)

And then the owl in his natural habitat at night.

Exploring different light and dark environments

Creating a mascot style guide

When the final mascot was ready and the visual material were complete, it was time to create an overall style guide.

As a designer, I must make sure all the assets are in place, that they follow a common style, and that they are used in the way I envisioned. You know, take care of color combinations you developers normally take for granted ;-)

So, I created the Mascot Style Guide. It is a short document with instructions describing how to use the mascot correctly. Here goes a sample:

Main mascot and colors palette example

And also, the mascot at different sizes to make sure we can use it as an icon:

Different size examples

Then, as it was shared above, a few ideas of how the mascot would look like in different disguises and situations:

Different costume examples

Finally, a version of the mascot in the home page to propose some ideas:

Example of use in website

Wrapping up

Choosing a mascot is never easy, but we hope you find this one fun and inspiring as much as we do.

Pablo Santos
I'm the CTO and Founder at Códice.
I've been leading Plastic SCM since 2005. My passion is helping teams work better through version control.
I had the opportunity to see teams from many different industries at work while I helped them improving their version control practices.
I really enjoy teaching (I've been a University professor for 6+ years) and sharing my experience in talks and articles.
And I love simple code. You can reach me at @psluaces.
Fernando Val
I'm the Resident designer at Códice.
I take care of mostly all the visual aspects you find in all our products and websites, and I can tell you that's a lot of work.
Part of my time is front-end development and the rest pure design of new concepts for product and marketing.
Find me on Twitter: @aaromnido.

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