Kia’s Confusing Logo

Category: Branding,Creative • November 17, 2022

When it comes to design, the importance of typography can’t be overstated. It can contribute to brand recognition, info hierarchy, and overall legibility.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “typography”, it’s the strategic arrangement of type in order to make written language readable and visually appealing. In graphic design, typography’s two main purposes are to:

  1. Communicate a message
  2. Promote legibility

If one’s typography is failing in either of these objectives, it can greatly affect the desired response from the intended target audience.

Anyone in the field of design or marketing understands how important brand recognition is, and car companies are among the most recognizable in the world. In early 2021, Kia noticed that companies like Nissan, Volkswagen, BMW, and GM were all rebranding and decided to hop on the bandwagon. Their solution to an outdated and juvenile logo was to design something bold, stylized, and immediately recognizable.

They succeeded in all of those and still, unfortunately, missed the mark.

The shortcoming stems from the legibility of the logo, which is lost due to how the company decided to connect the K and the I to the A in the middle of the name. One could argue that the legibility here is a matter of opinion and that the logo clearly reads KIA, but you can’t argue with Google Analytics.

According to Google, over thirty thousand people a day Google the letters KN, thinking that the stylized logo is portraying a backward N instead of an I and A.

A Google Analytics page shows how the search for "kn car" increased with Kia's new logo
A Google Analytics page shows how the search for “kn car” increased with Kia’s new logo
A graph illustrates how the Google search for "kn car" increased with Kia's new logo over time
A graph illustrates how the Google search for “kn car” increased with Kia’s new logo over time

While the new KIA logo isn’t the worst logo taboo we’ve seen before, it is a detrimental one and has clearly been confusing drivers since it was unveiled. Here at Mad Men Marketing, we understand how important it is to have a brand logo that not only speaks to you and your business but is legible and above all, effective.

5 Insights on Intellectual Property

Category: Creative,Technology • August 30, 2022

Most of us, at one point or another, have seen those small encircled letters accompanying a logo or design. Well, that letter is a symbol denoting one’s intellectual property. Intellectual property, or IP, is something one creatively contrives. This could be a work of art, a tagline, a logo, or an invention. There are five types of IP that are most commonly used.

  1. Copyright

A copyright is one of the most commonly used types of intellectual property, which protects the original work of the creator. This covers a wide spectrum of mediums including paintings, illustrations, photos, music, apps, books, movies, and much more. This isn’t something you need to apply for, it’s something you obtain automatically. You can do this by marking your work with the © symbol. This will legally protect your work from people copying it, redistributing it for free or for profit, making adaptations of your work, or displaying your work publicly.

  1. Trademark

    A trademark is simply any symbol, design, or phrase that’s used to identify a service or goods coming from a specific source. There are two categories of trademarks: registered and unregistered. Both of these trademarks are protected by law, but federally registered trademarks have a wider range of protection. You can trademark copy, audio, colors, smells, motion graphics, logos, and much more. Trademarks are protected for up to 10 years.

  2. Trade Secrets

Have you ever wondered what the Colonel’s secret fried chicken recipe is? I bet you have, but unfortunately for us, that’s a trade secret. A trade secret is a piece of information that the owner classifies as legally confidential. This includes a broad range of information, including info that gives its owner a competitive advantage due to its limited availability to the public.

  1. Design Rights

A design right protects key attributes of a product or article that are specific to its identity or appearance. Design rights are applied to a variety of products such as home goods, handcrafted items, containers, furniture, jewelry, electronic devices, and much more. A great example of this would be a Dyson vacuum. Both the technology and design are protected so the structure, aesthetic, and functionality are all unique to that company.

  1. Patents

Have you ever had a great idea for a product, just to realize that someone has already beat you to it and patented it? The patent can prevent you from coming out with a product closely mimicking another because it protects and registers inventions and makes it illegal for anyone to make or sell the said invention without the owner’s consent. The invention must be new, inventive, and have industrial applicability.

It’s very important to know which of these specific types of intellectual property apply to you and your product, service, design, or invention. Being diligent about something like your company name or logo ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble down the road, so remember to always protect your work!

7 tips on taking better photos for social media

Category: Creative,Social Media • July 19, 2022

There are several different components that make up a successful social media page, but one of the most important is quality imagery. As a marketing agency, social media can be one of the best places to engage our audience. That’s why we understand the importance of a great photo.

We don’t need expensive cameras to take quality photos. Our cell phones can take such high-quality photos, and most people can’t tell if they are taken with a phone or professional photography equipment. The camera can’t do all the work, though.

There are a few key tips to keep in mind while you’re trying to capture that Kodak moment.

#1 — Light it Right

Lighting is one of the most important tools you can utilize when taking photos. An easy tip to remember is to ensure your subject isn’t backlit, and that the light is shining down on it directly or coming at it from an upper-diagonal angle. If the light hits it from the back, you’ll be left with a dark, indiscernible green smoothie bowl, which is social media blasphemy.

You can combat this in a few ways:

  • The first way is to make sure your light source is coming from behind you (facing the subject).
  • You can also take the photo in HDR mode.
  • The third option is to fix it in post-production.

#2 — Shoot in HDR Mode

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In HDR mode, the camera will typically take two, three, or more photos at different exposures in quick succession, and then blend them together into one image with detail in both highlights and shadow.

Smartphone cameras that have the HDR feature usually offer the option to switch the HDR setting to On, Off, or to set it to Auto-HDR. Having HDR set to “On” tells your phone to capture a high dynamic range image every time a photo is taken.

#3 — Understand Depth of Field

Creating depth of field with your phone camera is a really cool way to up your Instagram photo game. When you’re shooting, always take into consideration the foreground, middle ground, and background in relation to the subject of the photo.

Let’s say you’re taking a picture of a subject some distance away from you and you want the subject in focus and the background blurry — simply tap your subject and wait for a yellow square to appear. Shooting in portrait mode on your phone is a great way to effectively highlight the depth of field, too.

#4 — Learn the Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds, also known as the golden grid rule, is a technique where a composition is aligned to a three-by-three grid.

By dividing a composition into three grids, we section it into nine imaginary rectangles with four intersections. The focus subject is aligned at one of the intersecting points or close to them. This creates an asymmetry in the composition.

In Settings, tap Camera, and then enable the Grid option. That’s all you have to do to turn the feature on! Your next step is to apply the concept: remember to put important things along the lines.

#5 — Have Fun With Camera Angles

Playing with unique angles can help your photos stand out and offer you a variety of options to choose from when it comes time to post. Angles can create the illusion of depth and height, making your images more interesting to look at, thereby generating more views.

TIP: Try lowering the angle to create a new perspective instead of shooting straight down.

#6 — Use Negative Space Appropriately

Negative space is the area surrounding the main subject in a photograph that is left unoccupied. Basically, it’s the space around the subject that helps define the positive space (or main focus).

Leaving a large amount of negative space in the photo can emphasize scale and simplicity, but make sure you are using it correctly.

TIP: If you’re trying to highlight the subject in the photo, make sure you’re taking the photo close up and filling the frame with the subject. This will reduce the surrounding negative space.

#7 — Tasteful Phone Editing

We could break down each category of editing you can utilize on your phone, but for simplicity’s sake, we want to highlight the three tools that can really elevate your photo:

  1. Brightness: It’s always a safe bet to bump up the brightness a bit unless your photo is already over-exposed. Indoor lighting rarely provides you with adequate illumination for a decent photo.
  2. Contrast: Adjusting the contrast ever so slightly helps to make the darks darker and the lights lighter. This can help your image appear less “flat.”
  3. Saturation: Delicately increasing the saturation will help to bring out some of those vivid colors that poor lightning may have counterbalanced. Make sure to not overdo this one or you will end up with some radioactive colors.

With over 4.6 billion people around the world using social media, online engagement is higher than ever. That is why it is so important to have content that is not only engaging but aesthetically pleasing. Take each one of these tips into consideration the next time you are taking a photo with the intention to post and you’ll look like a pro in no time.

And the Mad Men Marketing production crews are always ready to step in and help elevate your content for you! So, are you ready to interact? If so, reach out to our team today by calling 904-355-1766!

4 Tips for Shooting Video of Yourself on Your Phone

Category: Creative,Media,Video • June 17, 2022

  1. Setting
    • Choose a space that is well-lit with as little background noise as possible.
    • Avoid spaces where you will be back-lit, such as sitting in front of a window or a lamp, as this could cause you to be silhouetted and difficult to see. Position yourself to keep your main light source in front of you.
    • Also, avoid spaces where there would be distracting clutter in the shot.
  1. Framing your shot
    • Position the camera at your eye level to avoid shooting yourself at high or low angles, and keep yourself centered in the frame.
    • Use a tripod to keep your camera steady. Some selfie sticks come with a built-in tripod. If you don’t have this equipment available, then propping up the phone on a flat surface can work.
  1. Front or back-facing camera

The back-facing camera on your phone will provide higher quality video due to a better lens and higher megapixels. But if you prefer to be able to see yourself as you shoot, then you can use the front-facing camera.

KEEP IN MIND: As you’re shooting, keep eye contact with the lens as if it’s the person you’re talking to.

  1. Hitting the record button
    • Give yourself a couple of seconds after you hit the record button to start talking. This will give the final video editor room to splice in your video and transition between others.
    • Be sure to smile before you start talking and after you finish.
    • Speak clearly and avoid muttering or trailing off as you talk.
  1. Some more helpful tips
    • Keep water on hand (but make sure you can’t see it in the shot) for when your mouth or throat get dry.
    • Avoid wearing jewelry that can make noise, like bangled bracelets.
    • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Most people get nervous being on camera and it can take multiple tries to get it right!

The Three Steps Involved in Creating a TV Commercial

Category: Advertising,Creative,Television,Video • February 21, 2022

“It is expected that TV advertising revenue in the United States will grow … to 81 billion [dollars] in 2025,” Statista reports. And oh, we know: you want in on that.

But without experience behind the camera — let alone walking meticulously through each step of commercial advertising — you might (understandably) not know where to start.

So, if you’re looking for a basic three-step rundown on the commercial creation process to help you get prepared, simply read on with us:

Step One: Pre-Production

Pre-Production is the planning phase that involves brainstorming, establishing a vision, writing the initial script, and creating a shooting script and/or storyboard.

The difference between a shooting script and a storyboard is that…

  • A shooting script is written descriptions of visuals that will be captured to represent the content of the script
  • A storyboard includes drawn thumbnails or illustrations to convey what those shots will look like.

Otherwise, in addition to the aforementioned, pre-production may also include “hiring the actors and crew, finding locations, determining what equipment you’ll need, and figuring out the budget,” as explained by MasterClass.

Step Two: Production

Production is precisely what you might expect it to be: it is the process of going on location or into a studio in order to capture all of the video/audio content that will be in the commercial.

This includes shooting scenes with the required actors/talent, capturing any B-roll content to be spliced in, and recording audio (such as voiceovers or custom music).

And remember, when you’re deciding what that content should be, always hone in on the interests in passions of your target audience. This is because “video viewers said relating to their passions is 3X more important than content featuring famous actors,” as reported by Google.

Step Three: Post-Production

Post-production is where everything comes together in the process of editing.

Production specialists will use video editing software to cut together the best shots from the footage that was captured before laying in the audio bed, which includes:

  • Voice
  • Sound effects
  • Music

“Additionally, this is the point at which any other visual elements — like motion graphics — will be added in order to create the final product according to the established vision during the pre-production process,” Mad Men Marketing Director of Production Tamara Dileo says.

And remember: if you aren’t sure what story or message you want to convey on-screen, you’re not alone — Mad Men Marketing is ready to help you adjust your focus!

From photography to videography and more, we’re eager to get behind the camera and help you capture your brand’s vision. After all, our research-driven and content-inspired agency believes that your television commercial should help you to interact with your audience, not interrupt them.

So, are you ready to interact? If so, reach out to Mad Men Marketing today by calling 904-355-1766!