Similar Content, Different Targets

Overview: Sticking to the theme of my last post, the tactical athlete, I’m going to be discussing Mountain Tactical Instutite’s website and their graphic design along with comparing it to another similar site, SOFlete. To begin, both Mountain Tactical Institute and SOFlete’s primary audience is the tactical athlete (military members, law enforcemenboat-919191__180t, and fire fighter/EMS) and both target their programming for mission specific fitness. However, while Mountain Tactical Institute has fitness programming specific to each sub community within the tactical athlete community (military athlete programming, law enforcement programming, etc.) and programming for general mountain fitness too, SOFlete focuses solely on the military athlete. This focus on the military athlete, particularly special operators, is shown in their name (Special Operations Forces (SOF) Athlete; hence, SOFlete). According to David Underwood’s videos on graphic design, a website uses Pathos, Ethos, and Logos to influence its viewers. We’ll examine how both Mountain Tactical Institute (MTI) and SOFlete do this, as well as the differences between the two.

MTI’s Graphic Design: In terms of pathos, the ability for MTI to connect with users, there are many examples of graphic design that help to draw in the website viewer. To begin, all of Mountain Tactical Institute’s photos on their home page are completely in the gray scale, which pairs nicely with the black and matte green color scheme. The background for all of MTI’s website pages is a topography map, which gives a nod to MTI’s outdoor orientation and that fact that they’re based in the mountains near Jackson, WY.

For ethos, the perceived professionalism of an organization based on its media, Mountain Tactical Institute avoids all major failings in graphic design and seeks to portray themselves as professionals on their social media, such as their instagram, which primarily shows photos of groups MTI has worked with. All photos have a profession caption. For MTI’s website is one of two fonts. The same font is consistently used for headings and the same font is consistently used for the typeface in the articles or subheadings below the heading. There is also consistent alignment of photos and text that avoids creating unwanted tension and trapping whitespace.

SOFlete’s Graphic Design:For pathos, upon first viewing SOFlete’s website, you’ll see a photo of three SOF operators that has been given an overall orangish, sublimated glow, but has been set slightly in the gray scale to prevent it from being overbearing. This photo serves as the background for their logo. SOFlete also uses a lot of sublimation, which is best shown in an article concerning traumatic brain injuries. This photo helps to capture the uncertainty and seriousness of brain injuries.

In terms of ethos, SOFlete’s website also doesn’t commit any of the major design flaws and looks squared away. However, since SOFlete seeks to position itself as a “by SOF, for SOF” website, it includes much of the dark, raunchy humor that is unique to the military. SOFlete is set to appeal to you’re average gunslinger, which makes some of their articles and their instagram appear unprofessional in the traditional, business sense of the word.

 Comparison: In all, both Mountain Tactical Institute and SOFlete target similar audiences, tactical athletes, explains the similarities in design with each site, while SOFlete’s sole focus on SOF operators explains the main differences behind each site. In all, both MTI and SOFlete use neutral colors in their logos and website color schemes to compliment the photos on each website, which consist primarily of the outdoors or SOF operators in action, both of which consist of neutral colors. The biggest difference between MTI and SOFlete is the professional tone of their respective research and opinion articles as well as their instagram posts. MTI seeks to establish amongst fitness professionals, while SOFlete’s priority is creating training for gunslingers and SOF operators with their boots on the ground.

4 thoughts on “Similar Content, Different Targets

  1. Hey GJ,

    Thank you for your post. I had never heard of either of these companies before, and now I plan on buying some of their products. I really like your attention to the detail on their website. The images and colors match their target audience perfectly. I love how you mentioned that the website may look professional, but it also has a sense of humor to it. I think its important for companies to also seem personable, and connect with their customers.

  2. CJ,
    This website is awesome. Like you said they use 2 fonts. The 2 fonts work together and they are consistent throughout the whole website. The fonts are designated to their own spot. They have casual photos that are not really posed and they have real life images which I find make the website very casual and not intimidating to get involved in. They make it easy by the layout and set up what their purpose is of the website and what they want their reader to see. Do you think they did a good job at considering the readers needs and values when looking at the website, during the planning stage? In the video by, Judy Steiner Williams she talks about the 10 C’s. 3 C’s I think this website mastered was that it is Complete: all of the needed information that the readers really needed to know was there. It is Concise: there are no extra words that don’t need to be there, it is all very simple from where to get involved to who to contact for more information. The last C I saw being used is, Courtesy: you can tell and like you mentioned they did a really good job at making sure to think from the readers perspective. They looked how best to organized the website to make it easy: what information you want to look at based off what exercise you will be doing. What C from Judy Steiner Williams video do you see used the most on the website?
    Great share!!

    1. Both SOFlete and MTI definitely do a good job catering to their respective audiences in terms of graphic design. Of Judy Steiner William’s 10 C’s of professional writing, I would say the concise is the most prevalent and noticeable. I would also agree with you in saying they both also do an excellent job with Complete, Courtesy, and how MTI in particular organizes their website, especially the exercise video page. I’m glad you enjoyed looking through these sites!


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