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October 2015 | FEER McQUEEN blog

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October 2015

Brand…Solid Brand: or on the importance of the tone of voice.

Imagine James Bond coming up to you one day and introducing himself as such: Hi there, I’m James Bond. You would probably think that he is not the real 007 agent. Or even worse, him asking the bartender at a party for an amaretto sour. This can cause some serious brain confusion, making you see the macho MI6 agent as a wild party girl.

               And why is that? Because we are all used to James Bond talking and acting in specific ways. I mean his famous trademark is the sentence we all secretly reenacted in front of the mirror: “Bond. James Bond”; not to mention that Bond loves his martini.

               Bond is known to be a man of few words, who is confident, cold and mysterious. These are the main elements that make him unique, and give him a very specific character and tone of voice.

               This example can be applied to many iconic characters we’ve known through movies or literature. And of course it is applied to brands.

               You see, a brand is a character, a very unique person that speaks, acts and thinks in its own way and tone of voice. But more importantly, this person MUST always maintain this tone of voice, otherwise he/she will be out of character.

               Coming up with a brand’s tone of voice is not a piece of cake, unless you decide that your brand is sweet and fluffy. But for most brands, creating the right tone of voice is a great responsibility. It is what makes it what it is in terms of communication and attitude. That being said, a tone voice is a mixture of genetic characters that will stay with your brand forever.

               In order to conceive the perfect tone of voice for a brand you must first know and memorize the brand’s assets and PROMISE, because they are the elements that will guide your approach in terms of language complexity, culture, tone and attitude.

                If for example your brand is all about high quality and expertise, your wording and brand’s dialect should convey those attributes. If it is young, hip and speaks to youth, your brand must be as young and up to date as your audience. Which leads us to the golden rule: You are speaking to a specific audience. Hence, you need to speak in the same way they do. The iconic brand Coca-cola for example sells happiness. And having a broad and universal target audience, Coca-cola speaks in a down to earth and international happy tone of voice. As for Harley Davidson, it is a brand targeting middle-aged men who are looking to be rebellious and grab life by its horns. Hence, its rebellious tone fits perfectly with that of the audience.

               Bottom line is, never ever take the tone of voice of a brand lightly. It is its essence, and your job is not only to create it, but maintain it.  This will not only make it solid and consistent,  it will also create a stronger relationship with your target audience based on identification and resemblance.

Tony Raad
Content Creator and Creative Writer

My First 3 Months at Work

Starting a new job for the first time seemed to be the most challenging thing ever! There are so many new things to acquire and learn when getting a new job; starting from company policies to working dispositions and arrangements. In addition to your bosses and colleagues overseeing and monitoring your performance and attitude during the early days of employment.

My first three months at FEER McQUEEN were a strong opportunity for me to give a good impression to my boss and colleagues through attitude and hard work. As we all know, the first few months are the most critical. If you don’t take advantage of them, you may never get another chance.

As a Graphic Designer, it’s a bit frustrating to always be creative and witty; coming up with new ideas for different clients with different briefs on a daily basis. I wasn’t used to this before! After all, nobody expects a new fresh graduate to know everything and do the job perfectly; but that’s what I loved about my colleagues. They were always helpful from the beginning; always making sure that I capture and learn new stuff. This helped me make progress faster than what I had expected.

Considering myself a sociable person, I also found it easy to meet with colleagues outside of the usual office environment, where the supervising hierarchies and work-related barriers are insubstantial.

In Conclusion, I am pleased with my job here and everyone has been very welcoming.

Are you Happy at Work?

Lowana Semaan
Graphic Designer

Hoping for the best

Dear Reader,

I’m writing you today hoping for the best.
Hope might not be enough. Commitment, passion & a lot of writing are needed.
I’m familiar with all of them, except for the writing part. We’ve never gotten along.
“Writing” never took me seriously, and neither did I.

My Father does it for living & existing. He writes. He writes for hours, days & sometimes for years.
And when he’s not, he reads.
He never typed anything. He just writes using ink & a whole lot of papers.
Sarcastically, it doesn’t run in the family.

However, I did the first move now. So, let’s wait & hope for the best.
Salamat,

Firas Mghames
Creative Director/ Entrepreneur

Living in 10 x 10

I want to live in a picture, because it is the only
place where nobody is talking, yelling or fighting
There, I am always happy or smiling
There I am surrounded by people I love
There I am in my favorite place in the world.

There I can have unlimited and
permanent retouching (bye bye skin problems and
pear-shaped bodies)
There, I can recreate (print) the same happy
moment all over again.

I can live in black & white if I want
or can be in 2 places at once
I can make people laugh
There I can be eternal.

There I can travel light
I can have red eyes, or not!
I can live surrounded by money (in every wallet)
or treated like a movie star (on every wall)
And finally, I want to live in a 10×10, because
a picture is worth a thousand words!

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

5 Tips for better Character Design

If you’re a fan of creating your own character from scratch, then you’ve probably stumbled across websites like www.planetcreation.co.uk/createpic or www.southpark.cc.com/avatar at some point of your life.

Truth is, I found the same swapping technique to be ideal to give the best end result for character design. That and sipping margaritas. That always helps.
2

1. Sketch

SketchI know, shocking. It goes without saying that a character won’t pop out of nowhere; scribble away different ideas and develop the one that looks most promising.

I’m not always with the pen and paper method, however. Sketching digitally or starting out on a Wacom helped me develop shapes that wouldn’t have looked so appealing on paper.

 

2. Have element choices

Have-element-choicesRarely will you ever create a character that you don’t alter as a second step; (unless you’re a magical unicorn. In which case why are you even reading this?)

Whether to make the legs shorter, eyes wider or hair weirder, you kind of always play around till you get a little dude you’re happy about.
So create different versions as you go forward, copying and pasting one version next to the other.
DO NOT WORK ON THE SAME VERSION. Keep old ones you might not like right now, because you may like them after a while or maybe certain elements in it.

3. Play around with proportions and exaggerate

Play-around-with-proportions-and-exaggerateExaggeration isn’t always a key factor into creating a character, and it surely depends on who your audience is but it sure helps making it stand out. Make their head freakishly larger than their bodies, make their legs super thin with a heavy body, eyes to the side of their mouth, big ears, small hands, the sky is the limit. (NASA cannot relate to that one)

 

 

4. Accessorize

Accessorize-Characters sometimes are memorable for their accessories when they don’t really have a unique aspect; it helps pimp out their style. It could be a rhino riding a unicycle maybe. You wouldn’t remember it properly if not for its tiny pink unicycle. No, not even if the rhino is a nice rhino. Hook him up with a unicycle. Seriously.

 

 

5. Give them a story

Give-them-a-storyAnyone likes a background story, whether it’s for a character or for the bowling ball filled with jelly that they found in their fridge the next morning.

If your character is a pirate, then it probably has a missing leg. How did he lose that leg? Was it a whale? Did he step on a Lego?

Let the audience be interested enough to want to imagine it in a certain story in case you don’t have it written anywhere.

P.S: When a character is fun, we can tell you had fun while creating it too.
So do just that and you’re all set!

Vickie Boschiero
Junior Animation Art Director

When in Branding

I first fell in love with branding during my second year in college, when I learned how each name, each character, each angle, color and stroke define a brand and differentiate it from anything else in the world. Branding is unique, personalized and most importantly identifiable. It’s become a recognizable power that even countries and presidents are starting to adopt.

Unlike advertising, (I am sure my colleagues in the marketing department will choke me after they read this) branding is trustable. Because we all know that the Gilette guy has already shaved before shooting the commercial, and that the good-looking guy in the Sensodyne ad had teeth whitening. We still don’t fall for it when they bring the unknown dentist/actor for advice too.

Where on the other hand, branding is the field that makes you feel like you want to be on that boat with all these good looking people smoking Gauloise (even if you hate cigarettes) or makes you want to have a whiskey with the Chivas crowd. Branding is what makes you want to belong. Branding shares with you the experience and not only the product.

Now let’s get back to business! What is branding? Easy.

Branding is highlighting the most valuable asset of a brand, and shaping it into a unique visual representation.

In branding every detail matters. The shapes we use. The colors we choose. The story we tell. The experience we sell.

Branding is limitless. We can have countless directions and styles, on one condition and one condition only; Know your history, read and acknowledge where and why these styles and movements came to be. Only then, you hit the nail right on the head.

Branding is an infinite knowledge. It knows no boundaries, disciplines or language. It is universal. We may not speak the same languages or practice the same customs, but I am pretty sure we all recognize the Nike logo even when half drunk/half asleep!

Branding emerges from a need to be labeled, positioned and eternally remembered. This is why personal branding is making an appearance more and more nowadays. To give a few examples: Obama, Oprah and Trump rely heavily on a well defined and distinguished image, as they became not only leaders, but iconic brands people can relate to and trust. People surely did not elect Barack Obama for his logo, but it surely raised the bar for how campaigns represent themselves visually—and thereby make a lasting mark on voters.

Bref, when in branding, you are completely smitten and cannot but create wonders. It is every designer’s play field; it is where concept reigns and where the brand experience prevails.

Enough said!

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

Hybrid Talks

Alright, alright, alright! No it’s not Matthew McConaughey talking. But we are really excited to let you inside our big creative heads in our very personal way(s). Hybrid Talks is a place where creative thoughts, ideas and tips collide, with a humble aim to try and shake things up, or at least give useful insight about various disciplines in our field. Here, you might be reading about a new design trend one day, and suddenly jump into an article depicting the importance of music at work, the next day.
So yeah, it’s basically a space where we jot down thoughts from our daily lives at the office.
So dig in and have fun!