• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Are Manga and Anime leading the way with regard to business cartoons?

I was just wondering what the trends were with regards to Japanese Style cartoons. Manga, Anime, Chibi's (long list of names referring to different styles)

I am wondering with regards to whether people have a preference to that style of cartoon for their cartoon business images. And if not a specific preference now, is it likely to lean that way in the near future?

I'm adapting and presently learning these styles but wonder if it's particularly worthwhile my doing so.

I think the gaming industry is influcing trends these days but not being a gamer am not really sure what the cartoon style of the moment is in relation to mainstream games. I am assuming it's Manga-ish, 3D digital etc.

Anyone know anything about trends in this field?


Well-Known Member
Must be honest, whenever I see a cartoon logo, I think, 'oh dear' - unless its for a kid's party planner or a bouncy castle company.

That's nothing personal, I just can't stand them. A serious business wants a serious brand - at least that's what 100% of the clients I've ever dealt with have said.

I've never seen an Anime or Manga logo used for a serious business.

The gaming industry is just a sector of it's own. Thats not my style, I don't particularly like it, and I stay away from it. That being said, I know a lot of the work done isn't specifically logo based, but illustrative for magazines etc.. a lot of which is quite Manga / Anime - ish.

Each to their own!
I wasn't asking for a critique of the use of cartoons in design, I was asking if Manga or anime are leading the way in that specific industry from people who KNOW the industry (ie.not you) ...but feel free to rubbish people irrelevantly.


Well-Known Member
Oh dear.

"I know a lot of the work done isn't specifically logo based, but illustrative for magazines etc.. a lot of which is quite Manga / Anime - ish."

That answers the very question you posed. - Whats the cartoon style of the moment is in relation to mainstream games. I am assuming it's Manga-ish, 3D digital etc.


Staff member
I think the manga cartoon style is a useful skill to posses as an illustrator but is perhaps something that won't be called on very often. The biggest stumbling block with manga in a professional/business application is it's well known connection with aname pornography.

Perhaps better to adapt the style to suit yourself and make it your own?

Paul Murray

Staff member
Are you referring to things like website mascots?

Isn't it sweet? Mascots in Modern Web Design - Smashing Magazine

It's always worth learning a new style. Even if you don't get to use it, at least you've still got the skill under your belt. And you never know when someone's going to request that style.

As a cartoonist/illustrator though, I'd definitely want to have my own style, or at least be able to replicate different styles with my own personal influences, since that uniqueness is what makes your talent desirable.
There is certainly a trend in gaming at the moment not towards manga style, but more so towards "hand assembled" or "crafty" kind of graphics. Take a look at such games as Little Big Planet and Limbo for example. There is still (I think) a tendency towards cute characters, but unless the game has Japanese makers, you tend not to see so much typical manga/anime styling. People really do have very individual styles in the gaming community though, you can often tell which studio had a hand in something by the graphics, and this is something I believe you should strive to do in your work, by all means follow trends, but put your own unique twist on them.

A great place to look for trends in the gaming community is in the indie games circle, new game creators are found here, sometimes picked up by the bigger companies, and there are some really good (and really bad) graphic elements including logos.
You could say that a lot of video game illustrations are now actually influenced by manga/anime in some way - look at Angry Birds (big eyes, exaggerated appendage, etc). It's the inherent appeal to the eyes of these kind of images but obviously they must be used in appropriate situations. Certainly, businesses which operate in these fields (and I'm not just talking about computer games now - child's clothing, confectionery, etc) may have a use for these skills. Obviously, specialising is quite important in design/illustration so if you are able to offer that speciality, then it will have some value, as long as you pitch and market your services to the right people and through the right channels.
Thank you for the great replies chaps :icon_notworthy:

I have done some more research and think for now in terms of new directions to work on, I will actually focus on creating a combination character utilising Manga and 'hip hop' style cartoon influences.

Cartoons created always have a flavour of ones own, but I can't afford to ignore trends...especially if the client is using a 'trend' related phrase when searching for their cartoonist. So as you say, there will be influences but always something a little 'different'...however subtle.

It's amazing how many variations on a theme there actually are in this industry. :)