It’s cute, right? Pixel-kun was a spontaneous creation that emerged while we were brainstorming ideas for Studying Pixels. Originally suggested as a joke by our editor Tobias Klös, it quickly became apparent that Pixel-kun has to become our mascot.
What does that name even mean?
Most of us are to some degree versed in Japanese and yes, “kun” is a Japanese suffix meaning something along the lines of “buddy” or “friend.” It is what you would attach to the name of a male person, if you know them well. The suffix is pretty casual though so you might not want to use it for superiors or otherwise people that you are in a relationship of hierarchy with.
For those of you that are super curious: “kun” is usually written either in Kanji as 君 or in Hiragana, a simplified writing system, as くん. Since this would just cause confusion amongst our international audience, we stuck with the more approachable “kun.”
Who created that adorable design?
At first we thought of Pixel-kun primarily from the perspective of a podcast logo decoration. However, it did not really seem to click, so we turned to someone who is actually experienced when it comes to designing characters for video games. Kim Seitner is the name of the good fellow who, amongst other things, created the beautiful art of Spindle—an action-adventure game about Death and a pig. After some initial sketches we settled on a design and Kim imbued Pixel-kun with the cuteness and love it deserves.
In the months that followed, we quickly realised that Pixel-kun has a whole lot of potential. So we went ahead and created alternative versions that would henceforth decorate our website, cycling through with the seasons, special occasions etc. In this way, Pixel-kun and its variations became an integral part of the visual design of Studying Pixels.
I might have interacted with Pixel-kun, haven’t I?
Yeah, that is definitely possible. When our website was still under construction, Pixel-kun would chat with visitors and ask their email addresses for notification purposes. Also, Pixel-kun manages our Twitter account. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Pixel-kun!