Chester Cheetah. The Michelin Man. The Noid. Tony the Tiger. Mascots have been used to distinguish companies for decades, establishing an engaging personality for products that, on their own, might just be viewed as a box of sugary cereal, or a plain old pizza (booooring). Liam Hopkins founded the Manchester-based design practice Lazerian in 2006 with an emphasis on interiors, furniture, and lighting, but when he teamed up with artist (and fellow Brit) Richard Sweeney for a rebrand in 2008, a new star emerged.
Gerald is a flat-pack pup made from a paper kit—a geometric take on the Bracco Italiano breed. After proving himself incredibly popular at his debut during London’s 100% Design a few years back—every one of the models sold out—Hopkins and Sweeney decided to spread the love and invite their favorite creative types from around the world to give Gerald’s coat an anything-goes makeover.
In 2011 they sent replica Geralds to 105 collaborators to decorate in any way they chose; two years later, the resulting litter is a multi-chromatic mix of patterns and styles that offer a personal take on the blank canvas: Grande Dame incorporated her own Bichon Frisse, A.N.D Studio gave the pooch a color-blocked dip, and Ben O’Brien gave his an inviting, domestic vibe. In addition to the small dog kits available for purchase, a series of larger hounds will be on display at this year’s Design Week in New York (in custom steel-and-plastic kennels, natch), while a limited edition hardback book by boutique paper experts James Cropper will offer a comprehensive take on the whole project.