Entries Tagged as 'branding'

lamest radio station logos

Lamest Radio Station Logos Logo

There are many things that frustrate me about the current state of radio. But one of the things that drives me the most crazy are some of the absolutely not attractive logos that radio stations come up with for their formats! The stations are probably great but what’s with these logos?!

I want YOU to send ME your least favorite broadcast (not internet or LPFM) radio station logos. I will post them here (for fun only – we’re not trying to cause problems here). Let’s try and keep them modern – these would be active radio station logos – nothing from decades past, in other words. Send your files to peter at audioconnell dot com.

These are logos that it seems somebody created on their PC or had their child create on their Etch-a-Sketch or that somebody pasted together without any professional, graphic sensibility at all. They are unworthy of the great station they represent and should be re-designed. These station very likely sound better than they look — they need better visual branding and maybe this blog post will help encourage the stations to do that – or maybe this post will be as ignored as all the others posts :).

But of course ugly is in the eye of the beholder and since it’s my blog, I will be the beholder and thus the final arbitrator of whether a radio station logo is truly unattractive enough. Maybe with some professional focus, these stations can get a logo that’s a bit more attractive – something nicer to slap on the side of the station van. So in no particular order, here we go…

WYDB/Dayton (2014)

WYDB/Dayton, OH (2014)

WECK/Buffalo, NY

WECK/Buffalo, NY (2014)

KMRN/Cameron, MO (2014)

KMRN/Cameron, MO (2014)

KKVS/Las Cruces, NM (2014)

KKVS/Las Cruces, NM (2014)

WTKG/Grand Rapids, MI (2014)

WTKG/Grand Rapids, MI (2014)

WHMI/Howell, MI (2014)

WHMI/Howell, MI (2014)

WKXW/Trenton, NJ (2014)

WKXW/Trenton, NJ (2014)

a little, tiny Christmas voice-over spanking for my fellow voice talent

Charlie Brown Christmas_ All Right and Trademarks Acknowledged

You are…to every man, woman and child that I know earning a living in the voice-over profession…all talented people of good heart.

If you’re not, well, you fooled me.

But with this sincere compliment offered, I pose this stinging, serious and direct critique that you are free to ignore:

Your Christmas and holiday messages to your clients and peers are NOT the time to wish us well AND let us know your holiday schedules and availabilities. When you do this cringe-worthy act, you unwittingly come off as insincere and desperate as well as seemingly ignorant about what this holiday season is all about for most of the world.

HINT: This holiday season is NOT about you getting more voice-over jobs.

In this one message to your clients at a time of year steeped in a variety of religious traditions for people of numerous faiths that most all people still hold sacred – be real.

Be human.

Be sincere.

Offer your wish, your hopes or just a simple message of good will. Then stop.

It’s not a marketing opportunity. It’s not a scheduling opportunity. If clients need you, they will find you and you will work.

A competitor won’t tell you about your very awkward yet not career-ending mistake.

But a friend will. 🙂

the new business cards

I’m not sure if it’s true for every FaffCamper or FaffConite but for me, when I see a Faff-event coming up in my calendar, it becomes a goal…a kind of joyous finish line for some of my marketing plans (you know, a marketing plan…it’s that written document that you need to…oh never mind).

As you know from past blog posts, I had a plan to redesign my business cards. I’d decided that FaffCamp would be the perfect deadline to have these cards ready…not really for the Campers, many of whom I’ve known forever, but for the Monday AFTER FaffCamp, so I’d be ready with the renewed marketing vigor that FaffCamp will imbue within me. The response of the recipients of these cards will be the true test of their efficacy…but I gots me a plan for that!

Branding-wise, I wanted to put a greater emphasis on the “Friendly, Neighborhood Voice-Over Talent” positioning that I created. audio’connell Voice Over Talent is still very much around but this freshening of my personal brand felt accurate from a variety of marketing perspectives; among peers and clients, the branding is getting positive reviews.

So I toyed around with some graphical ideas for the positioning and hit upon a look that I believed conveyed the feel of what I was trying to communicate while still staying true to the family branding equity that audio’connell has established for all these years. I’d focus more on audio’connell’s secondary logo mark (the “a.o.” as I call it) versus the full microphone logo to tie in with the positioning statement and new word mark.

Now in the world of business cards, I have a reputation to uphold (can you see how puffed out my chest is getting –no, it’s not some kind of allergic reaction)…after all, I get calls from clients and friends asking me for help with THEIR business card designs, so mine had better be pretty unique.

I liked the word mark design because it was minimalist (unlike my personality) but on a business card, that same quality that I prefer might just kinda sit there. While wondering (like, for months) what I was going to do to make this card stand out, I got my answer while recording at a studio in Toronto.

I committed a robbery in broad daylight AND in another country, no less.

Right there in the studio’s card holder on the reception desk: thick, heavy plastic card stock for a business card. Full color, two sided. Oh yeah.

The message via these cards to the creative community that I serve (agencies, production houses) is subtle, tactile and memorable. And it tells my story.

We talk about look and feel when we talk about design – I think (and maybe egotistically) these cards have a creative, professional and friendly look to them but their feel is substantial, durable and dependable. It’s a lot to ask from a card – but I believe it gets my branding and personal message across well.

Communication though is NOT in the transmission, it’s in the reception. You are welcome to give you pro or con opinion here on the new cards…but just know that I’ve got a lot of these new cards so if you hate them, you’re going to have to hate them for a while. ☺

remember video jockeys?

I remember video jockeys because when I came out of college, I auditioned to be one. (It’s OK to laugh but’s it’s unattractive and insulting to actually snort from laughing…even at something so ridiculous).

It was to this day (I think) the ONLY on camera audition I ever did (or can remember) and I think it was probably as awful a thing to watch as has ever been not broadcast. I quickly realized I had a face for radio (of course I didn’t do much in radio after that time either). We all do things we regret when we’re young…considering ever so briefly a life in front of the camera was one of mine.

But the network I auditioned for was VH-1…Video Hits One, the Adult Contemporary version of MTV and much like its big brother, VH-1 had no earthly idea how to use VJ’s in their programming. I recall Scott Shannon being a VJ at one point and Don Imus too (you thought I had a face for radio?! And Imus is STILL on TV…the attractive bar wasn’t lowered, it was buried there).

I think they too realized these radio stars weren’t cutting it on their channel and as part of a rebranding, they went looking for new personalities, of which I never became one.

All these memories came back to me when I saw that VH-1 recently updated it logo. My first reaction was “thank God” because whatever kind of bet was lost on the creation of it’s last logo, ANYTHING done after it was going to be a billion times better.

And simple as it is, the new VH-1 logo IS better. The tough thing with static shots of network logos is…on TV they’re never static….they move with grace or speed; with color or texture but they are rarely still.

The logo implementation is good, the look is better and the potential is great.

something pretty darn special in the air

In the world of airline logos, there have only been a few really special designs.

One was from the defunct Pan Am, which you may have seen in the short lived TV series in 2012.

The other has been a logo that has been one of the cleanest, simplest and most recognizable logos in aviation, American Airlines. The logo, with its red and blue Helvetica font and modern eagle has been around since 1968 and even today was a timeless beauty of a logo.

Less lucky has been the airline itself, which is in the midst of a return from bankruptcy while at the same time facing a merger with U.S. Airways. The airline’s future is brighter than it was, but still not clear.

Nonetheless, coming out of bankruptcy IS a big deal, adding lots of modern amenities to your planes is also a big deal. So you might as well change the logo while you’re at…and the plane design.

So they did.

In branding circles, this kind of change is a BIG freakin’ deal. Huge!

My take? Look, I loved the old logo because it never looked dated to me…but I understand after 40+ years and a few court filings, the old AA needed a fresh look. This is a good one.

What’s really cool is the video that not only introduces the logo but the new plane design as well, I really like the look of the tail.

This change could NOT have been easy but I think the final version (without having seen it in person) looks pretty sharp. Take a look.

a logo downgrade for buffalo

Besides being Buffalo, New York’s only baseball team, the Buffalo Bisons are a pretty well respected franchise among triple A baseball affiliates. The club is run by a strong ownership and management team.

Which is why I was so incredibly surprised by their recent logo catastrophe.

In 2008, the Bisons ended their long MLB affiliation with the Cleveland Indians and signed with the New York Mets. Mrs. audio’connell grew up a Mets fan so that change pleased this household to no end. I like the Bisons no matter what so I don’t particularly care who they are affiliated with.

However when I saw the new logo the Met’s change brought with it, I was thrilled! A major league looking logo! The team had looked Triple A for so long in its branding, I was pleased to see the upgrade and immediately went out and bought lots of merch!

Well unfortunately for a multitude of reasons, the affiliation with the Mets didn’t work out and the Bisons organization executed a change to affiliate with the Toronto Blue Jays. While not a baseball expert, I think this move will really work out well for the Bisons.

The bad news is the team must have had a covert logo design contest among area 7th Grade design students to help Buffalo create the Bisons new logo under the new affiliation agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yes, you are seeing correctly, the red, white and blue logo is the NEW logo…not an old resurrected from 1947 logo. That’s the new one.

Shockingly horrible, isn’t it. To call it fugly is to be complimentary.

Are you saying to yourself, why didn’t they just take the Mets logo and change it to the Blue Jays color scheme? I know I asked that question too but then I guessed there might be a legal thing with the Mets on the old logo and oh well.

I look at this logo in the same way I look at our city, regional and state governments here and I ask the same question: is this the best we could do?