​How to Make a Logo the MWI Way

January 11 2016

One of the hottest arguments in web development and graphic design is form vs. function. Midwestern Interactive's stance: the two are inseparable...if you do it right. 

Even logo design, a product you would think is heavier on form, integrates form and function. We are artists, but we are also engineers, determining the function of every piece in a company's identity and how it works with the others. 

Still, we realize some people believe a DIY logo is more cost effective than investing in  branding and design experts  Our feelings are a little hurt. I mean, this is what we do. And we have worked hard to be great at it. 

But our desire for quality supersedes our need for respect. So, instead of abandoning DIYers to so-called experts whose business is more focused on selling blogs than on developing design, I can at least let you know how we work. 

Over the course of the next few blogs, We'll reveal our process for designing a logo in three general steps:

  • Step 1: Research
  • Step 2: Development
  • Step 3: Application

Step 1: Research

Midwestern Interactive invests a significant amount of time in research before putting pen to paper. Thorough research of the client, the client's industry, general marketing, and technology are essential for quality design. Sometimes this process is short and other times it can be quite lengthy. It is different for each client.

The Client

Much of our research time is spent with the company. If we want their logo to represent their identity, we must thoroughly understand their values, vision, products/services, employees, and history. Investing time in the client ensures their logo will be custom to their business, rather than a generic image that anyone can have.

Often, this process helps the client develop their identity. All they need is someone to ask the right questions so they can come up with what makes their company unique and successful. We have seen company's take branding decisions they have discovered in our meetings and apply them to other branding elements as well as corporate operations. 

The Client's Industry

We also spend time refreshing our scope of the client's industry. If we don't know what's out there, how are we to compete? The industry includes a lot of variables, but our focus is on two facets: competitor and customer.

Competitors- Who are the actual and eventual competitors? How is the client's company different? What other images are used in the industry?  How can we stand out from the crowd?

Customer- Who is the audience? What are their needs and expectations? What do we want them to do? What will get and maintain their attention?

With comprehensive research, we are able to focus the customer on our client's services or products in a sea of options. 

Marketing and Technology

We continuously research current trends, updates, and innovation. For instance, just a few years ago, studies supported creating a Home page that didn't require the user to scroll down. But current research shows continuous scrolling format with small blocks of information (you know, like your Facebook News Feed) is not only ok, it's more effective than requiring the web reader to navigate back and forth to find what they want. 

For each project, we research trends and studies specific to the client. For a law office, for example, we looked at how legal service websites serve their customers through technology, weighted the pros and cons, and developed sustainable strategies. 

Researching marketing and technology practices ensures our products remain fresh but also withstand the changes in trends that can quickly date an amateur product.

Quality is as Quality Does

Your logo is the face of your company, you understand that. But it isn't just about having a memorable face. Your logo advertises the quality and reliability of your company, services, and products just as much as customer service or salespeople. 

If you want to be a generic company, make a generic logo. If you want to compete with amateurs, pay an amateur to create your logo. We will do what we can to help you through the process in this Logo DIY blog series.

But if you want to be exceptional, let's talk about how your identity can bring you to the forefront of the market. Helping people and company's succeed is not only what we do, it's what we love to do.