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 enforcement, 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.