BREADSTONE firm Exclusive Ballooning is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the launch of a special penguin balloon designed by a fan.
The company ran a competition on its Facebook page offering one lucky fan the chance to see their balloon design turned into reality.
Bristol-based artist Tom Moore beat off the competition, sketching the winning design.
"Having heard of Exclusive Ballooning's 15th birthday competition, this was an opportunity I could not miss,” explained Mr Moore. “I started simply with my sketchbook and drew several penguin cartoons, trying to imbue them with character. Having submitted the drawings to Exclusive Ballooning, I was thrilled when they asked me to work with them to develop the idea into a balloon.”
He worked with the company to shift the penguin design and balloon shape until the two melded together perfectly.
Mr Moore, 27, said: "The design was honed several times to ensure the penguin would work with the technical aspects of a balloon, while retaining the feeling that this was a character who could have a story of its own.
“I am really happy how the final visual looks and I can't wait to see it inflated."
His vision will now go on to be built in Spain by specialist manufacturer Ultramagic. The balloon will be one of the lightest special shapes ever built and the team plan to fly it all around the world.
Exclusive’s Andrew Holly, a current British national champion, will fly him at balloon festivals in Australia, USA, South Africa, the Philippines and Gloucestershire's own Exclusive Cup balloon festival in June.
The penguin is now looking for a name. Visit the firm’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/exclusiveballooning to give your suggestions.