Helping a Hedgehog
Become a Household Word—throughout the World
In the early 1990s we created the official style guide for Sega’s flagship videogame character, Sonic The Hedgehog, who quickly won the hearts of gamers worldwide—becoming one of the best-selling videogame series of all time. Rather than his taller, gangly Japanese counterpart, Sega wanted Sonic to be shorter, cuter and rounder. Working closely with the Sega of America Design Team, we restyled Sonic for the US and international markets.
Our Sonic Style Guide served as the roadmap for Sega’s licensees and strategic partners in the proper use and portrayal of this character across a wide spectrum of licensed products and co-branding promotions. As a Preferred Vendor to Sega, we illustrated and designed Sonic packaging and promotional art for brand leaders including Coca-Cola, Campbell’s Soup, Mattel, Milton-Bradley, Nikko, Western Publishing/Golden Books and Thermos, among many more—across a broad range of categories.
In addition to becoming a cultural icon, Sonic The Hedgehog yet remains a major financial success—with $9 billion in revenues to date. In addition to generating its own, separate revenues, Sonic’s licensing continues to help drive global sales of the Sonic The Hedgehog videogame franchise—now topping 140 million units and 920 million downloads—and counting.
In 1992, shortly after the brand’s US introduction, more children ages 6-12 knew who Sonic was than Mickey Mouse. Now, three decades and a hit movie later, the brand continues to evolve, as Sega’s Sonic franchise remains very much alive and well.