Meet Our Team: Tika, Visual Storyteller for Diverse Hispanics
Welcome to Captura Group’s “Meet Our Team” series, a chance for us to profile a member of our team and give you a glimpse into the minds and backgrounds of the people that make Captura Group thrive. See our other profiles here.
Design is all around us, and nowhere is that more true than in the digital space. A 2014 Specific Media report stated that U.S. Hispanics alone consume 31 hours of online content monthly. Think about how many images, videos, memes, banners, and social communications that is per day! There is a lot of potential noise to fight through if you’re a brand striving to make a meaningful connection with this rapidly growing and highly influential audience. Additionally, with the explosion of social and native advertising it’s become more important to tell stories in a visually compelling way. For U.S. Hispanics, that also means connecting design with culture.
The design team at Captura Group is a big part of the heart and soul of our creative work. Combined with our expert team of content marketers, our digital graphic designers merge culturally relevant content with captivating images to produce visuals that break through the online clutter. One such designer is our profile subject this month, Tika Fender.
Tika is a creative and natural leader with a last name that is as cool as the most popular brand of electric guitars in the world. She is energetic and approachable, and her designs rock like a Carlos Santana guitar solo. Here Tika gives us a glimpse into what motivated her to become a digital graphic designer, why her background helps her career, and her advice for marketers or brands looking to reach online U.S. Hispanics through great visuals.
Give us a peek into your background. What was growing up like for you?
I was born in Tijuana, Mexico and was always exposed to American culture living so close to San Diego. I never took an English class, but learned the language the way many Tijuana residents do – by watching TV. Ever since I was little, I was interested in art, music, and anything that had something to do with computers. I drew portraits when I was about 11 years old, I took opera lessons, I was head cheerleader, and was a member of the calculus club.
What role does biculturalism play in your life, if any?
I don’t necessarily consider myself as bicultural because I lived most of my life in Mexico, but I do understand and appreciate American culture. Being Mexican and living in California is like being in two different worlds. Sometimes I interchange Spanish and English without noticing!
How did your background shape your career direction?
I’ve always been amazed by art, music, and design and have always known that I would pursue a creative career. When I was about 10 years old, I was obsessed with Nintendo Mario Paint and Windows Paint; I would spend hours “retouching” photos, drawing, and doing simple animations. Back then, my father worked at CETYS University in Tijuana and created a new design program called Digital Graphic Design Engineering. It was the first graphic design program in Mexico to use creative software (Adobe Creative Suite, Flash, 3D software, etc.). Hard to believe, but back then graphic design was made by hand! He thought that by the time I was ready to go to college I would have a program that fit my creative needs. I went on to graduate from college with honors with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design Engineering and was granted a full scholarship by the Mexican government to pursue my MBA with a concentration in Marketing.
Has being a Latina had an impact on your professional career?
Ever since I moved to San Diego, I’ve always worked for Hispanic companies. I used to design media kits for regional Mexican artists such as Jenni Rivera, Banda el Recodo, Banda Los Recoditos, Del Records, and Yuridia. Being a Hispanic designer here at Captura Group has been a key part in developing effective creative solutions across accounts because I see myself as the target audience and I understand the culture.
Do you think design is impacted by culture?
Absolutely. I believe design is impacted by culture and many other factors like social status, age group, and lifestyle. Just like content, all visual communications need to be centered around the target market.
Do you see design trends in campaigns focused on reaching U.S. Hispanics? Can you share some examples?
First, it’s refreshing to see that companies are starting to realize that the U.S. Hispanic demographic is a key for success! In terms of design trends, we’ve noticed that Hispanics react better to images with people, specifically images with other Hispanics (as seen in the Dias Grandiosos/Cheez-It example). It’s like we relate to those images. Hispanics also respond well to recipes and DIYs, so it’s fun to incorporate those elements into images (as seen in the two Knorr examples). We’ve also found that if we can recognize Hispanic diversity in the design, it resonates well with the audience (as seen in the POND’S example).
*Click to view larger images
Lastly, do you have any advice for marketers or brands looking to reach online U.S. Hispanics through design?
Yes, and this is true for content as well as visual design: Don’t just translate ideas, customize your campaigns to fit the Hispanic culture. Those are the campaigns that resonate best with Hispanics.