Building Brands Since 2002 – 15 Year Fiesta

Little Agency. Big Story.

McKenna Design Group celebrates 15 years in 2017. We’re taking this year to take stock in the Olympic-learning since 2002. Because lessons are to be learned each step of the way. First, it’s a great way to thank our clients, and second, a great way to recognize the MDG team members who have created brands. Designed user experiences. Created memorable branded action. Connecting brands with members, customers and the market. Wow. A lot has changed since 2002.

15 Years of Change

To say the world has changed a lot in fifteen years is an understatement. It seems like the world has completely changed. For example:

We’ve learned a lot over 15 years. We continue to learn and improve. Every day. Building integrated marketing, customer journeys and branded user experiences that help our clients grow and succeed. Designing brands that drive engagement and build business.

Brands are like sharks. Keep swimming or sink. McKenna Design Group keeps swimming forward to continuously improve.

Check out how we’ve changed and grown since 2002:

2002:
The original
W-MDG logo-03

2011
Elizabeth McKenna joins as Principal/Managing Partner

logo

2014
mdg moves into 725 Chicago Avenue – a design studio is formed

MDG_Logo_RGB

2017
Celebrating 15 year years

MDG_15 Year Logo_Long_Color

What the Future Holds

Stick around to see how mdg brand continues to evolve and grow for the next fifteen.

Interested in a social media consultation? Email us: social@wmdesigngroup.com


Sources:

*History and Growth of the Internet to Today

**InterBrand’s Best Global Brands

How Content Hierarchy Could Have Saved The Oscars

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Detail shot as 'La La Land' producer Jordan Horowitz holds up the winner card reading actual Best Picture winner 'Moonlight' onstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The awkward Best Picture announcement at the Oscars Sunday could have been avoided. Regardless of how Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway got ahold of the wrong envelope. The horrible user experience that followed was unnecessary. Presenters should be able to tell the category through even a glance. Thanks to weak typography and illogical hierarchy the wrong winner was declared amid confusion.

The All-Powerful Hierarchy

Best practices of content hierarchy ensure accuracy and a much better user experience for the presenters and the winners. Legibility, scan-ability and readability are all hot buttons when we design. Here’s how we’d redesign the card:

  1. The award name is at the bottom, tiny and oblique. Easily missed, as evidenced by Beatty’s confusion on stage. We moved the name of the award to the top of the card in large, all caps type. Beatty would have immediately known that he had the wrong envelope and the La La Land/Moonlight debacle would not have occurred.
  2. The winning name is too small and blends in with the subhead. We differentiated the two pieces of information by using all caps and bold type on the primary winner and smaller, lowercase for the other information.
  3. The use of the Oscars Logo at the top of the card (the largest element!) is an unnecessary waste of space. The logo can stand strong, smaller at the bottom of the card.

Oscars Card Redesign

This mistake is reminiscent of the “hanging chad” issue from 2000. The artistry of excellent design is transparent. Like Shakespeare’s negative capability, well designed work brings the message to the forefront. Good design is good business.

#McKennaDesignGroup #Oscars #GoodDesignisGoodBusiness #MDG15thHour

National Color Day – Red

red roses-photo
A Sea of Red Roses

In the red forest that blanketed the earth like a sea of roses, when time sang with the voice of the earth mother, when the tides of time, in rising, swelled, full of like, when milky breasts flowed endlessly, and it was the beginning, and life reflected the blood-red day, and I was new, and I came into love…

-Chantal Chawaf (1943-)

About Red:

  • More than any other color, red symbolizes strength.
  • Red is seen best by the human eye because, of all the rays in the light spectrum, this color refracts most rapidly on the retina.
  • The Onge of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal cover themselves everyday from birth with a mixture containing red ocher to guard against illness and scorpion bites.

Famous Logos Using Red:

red-logos
Coca-Cola, Netflix and Target Corporation

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

What was the last campaign you remember? Was it “I’m lovin’ it” or maybe a campaign centered on a sporting event? The most powerful campaigns pull at our heartstrings and spur us to action. At McKenna Design Group we tell a broad range of stories. Check out one of our favorites.

National Color Day – Yellow

yellow-photo

I was pleased with myself when I discovered that sunlight, for example, could not be reproduced, but that I had to represent it by some other means… by color.

-Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

About Yellow:

  • The first pigments of yellow are traced back to the first cave painting more than fifty thousand years ago in a cave found in the northern part of Australia.
  • In India, the color yellow is connected to marriage (as indicated by the expression “to yellow the hands”) and conjugal happiness, and the pigment extracted from turmeric plays and essential role in this context.
  • In the Fiji Islands, when a daughter of a Lau noble reaches 16, she is forbidden from the sun, remains in at home for a period of time covered in a blend of turmeric and old so her skin becomes more dazzling.

Famous Logos Using Yellow:

yellow-logos
Post-it, McDonald’s and Best Buy

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

No one wants to be disappointed, to have a bad experience. Everyone wants to be delighted, happily surprised. It’s the little things that add a smile in the every day journey we as customers experience. Every. Single. Day.

We expect more from brands. We want to be heard and be part of the story. The user experience is central to a brand-led experience. Brand loyalty must be earned. Create that branded user experience so fantastic that it knocks the socks of your customer. Gain momentum by empowering your customers to tell their friends, family, co-workers, teachers, baristas, Uber driver just how awesome the experience was. And then do it again.

National Color Day – Gray

gray-photo

“The fundamental gray which differentiates the masters, expresses them and is the soul of all color.”

–Odilon Redon

About Gray:

  • The New York Times was nicknamed “Gray Lady” because gray represents non-involvement, giving it formal authority.
  • The human eye can distinguish about 500 shades of gray.
  • Gray is achromatic, meaning it’s a color without color.

Famous Logos Using Gray:

gray-logos
Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Apple, Inc and Wikipedia

Gray is an effective color to pair with brighter, energetic hues. It provides the eye a moment of pause, as if taking a breath. It’s a default color for many applications which is especially helpfully for e-commerce solutions. Your product should stand out. Not the technology driving it.

National Color Day – Orange

orange-photo
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow”

–Wassily Kandinsky

About Orange:

  • Orange is the only color whose name was taken from an object.
  • Nobility were the only ones during the Elizabethan Era would were allowed to wear orange.
  • Originally, carrots weren’t orange. The most common color was purple until 17th century Dutch growers crossbred white rooted mutated yellow and wild carrots.

Famous Logos Using Orange:

orange-logos
The Home Depot, University of Illinois and Nickelodeon

Whether attempting a home remodeling or getting a degree, the process is perfect. Process is something we think about when designing a user experience for our clients. Building a 360 degree user experience and affecting how your customers experience your brand – orange or not – is what we do best. Own the experience. Get ideas how.

National Color Day – Brown

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“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

–Winston Churchill

About Brown:

  • The Japanese do not have a specific word for brown. Rather, they use more descriptive names such as “tea-color,” “fox-color,” and “fallen-leaf.”
  • Brown is the color of security, protection and wealth.
  • If you dream of the color brown, it means you will be lucky with money.

Famous Logos Using Brown:

brown-logos
A&W Root Beer, United Parcel Service, Inc and M&M’s

How do you break through – in awareness, messaging and engagement? UPS provides a great example of how a brand can literally own a category. Capitalizing on the strength and omnipresence of brown through their trucks, uniform, branded packaging UPS’ 2002 campaign “What can brown do for us?” upped the ante from just a service delivery to all of the steps in the process.

“At UPS, brown is more than a color — it’s a tangible asset that people associate with all the things that are good about our brand.”

said Dale Hayes, vice president for brand management and customer communications, in a news release. “This campaign extends that association to the scope of new, and perhaps lesser known, capabilities we offer the marketplace.”

Does your organization ‘own’ a color? See how color can build preference and loyalty.

National Color Day – White

white-photo

“The white canvas-it’s like a layer of dust that covers up the real painting. It’s just a matter of cleaning it. I have a little brush to clear away the blue, another for the red, and another brush for the green. And when I’ve finished cleaning, the picture is all there.”

-George Braque (1882-1963)

About White:

  • In 1669, Isacc Newton demonstrated that the color white results from the synthesis of the six colored rays that compost the spectrum.
  • Many cultures have many perceived variations on white. For example the Inuit have 7 variations of white, Japanese use 6 distinct terms to evoke whiteness and in India Sanskirt texts describe whiteness by object (example: whiteness of a tooth, whiteness of a pearl or whiteness of an autumnal moon).
  • The whiteness of milk and it’s symbolism is important in many cultures, for example in Muslim Egypt, they refer to milk to describe a beautiful day.

Famous Logos Using White:

white-logos
Metallica, Cartoon Network and Uber Technologies, Inc.

 

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

National Color Day – Purple

purple-photo

“I see the red flag outside me window: the shadow, in fact, appears violet and dusky to me: it has an orangish glow, but why isn’t there any green? First of all because red needs to have hints of green, but also because of the presence of orange and violet, two tones that introduce yellow and blue, which make green.

-Eugene Delecriox (1798-1863)

About Purple:

  • Purple is among the most complex dyes to extract and, there, the most expensive, and was reserved for the clothing of nobles.
  • Kalasha women and young girls in Afghanistan make themselves up for the Feast of Flowers by drawing thick violet circles around their eyes. Before cosmetics, they would have used powder make of ground partridge leg.
  • Pope Paul II (1417-1471) decreed that cardinals would wear purple, and in the Roman Catholic Church, purple is still reserved for cardinals.

Famous Logos Using Purple:

purple-logos
Hallmark Cards, The Willy Wonka Candy Company and Yahoo, Inc.

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

Strategy Leads the Way

You know where you want to go but don’t know the way. Luckily, most women will stop for directions. Men: get a roadmap. Strategy projects provide the foundation of understanding for everything. Determining your organization’s position in the marketplace or how to get the most from your social media plan and channels. You need a plan.

At McKenna Design Group we believe that above else Strategy should precede tactics. A home builder or remodeler depends on blue prints. They define the project and provide cues as to the order in which the project will be done. Starting without a plan is no different that driving in circles. Don’t be lost: Get a Strategic Roadmap.

National Color Day – Green

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Green: said of many things which have green in them. People speak of an evergreen oak because it is green all the time. And certain cabbages are called green cabbages because their leaves do not whiten like those of white cabbages.

-Antoine Furetiere (1619-1688) From his Dictionnarie universel (Universal Dictionary), the publication of white cause his expulsion from the Academie Francaise.

About Green:

  • No plant contain pigments capable of dyeing fabric a vivid green resistant to sunlight and repeated washing. Humans learned that adding yellow and blue they could create it.
  • To dream of green is a sign of good fortune in China: the sleeper can rely on his vitality. But if the color pervades the entire dream, it signifies that he is subject to savage forces.
  • Interior designers recommend using green to create a soothing atmosphere.

Famous Logos Using Green:

green-logos
BP (British Petroleum), Starbucks Corporation and The Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

Starbucks has spent endless hours to create sticky relationships with customers. Brand loyalty and consumer advocacy is the end game. And a cup of joe.

McKenna Design Group helps Associations grow. More members. More engagement. More Green. Learn how Loyalty and Advocacy make it happen.

McKenna Design Group is a full-service marketing communications and technology firm in Chicago. Hire us and we'll develop integrated, results-driven solutions. Our promise? Return on Experience.® We build a brand so customers advocate for you.

GSA NAICS Codes 541430, 541511, 541613, 541810, 541910