It happens to the best of us. Sometimes a company needs to shed the identity it started with in order to realize its growth strategy. Mechwave Engineering, a successful Calgary-based mechanical engineering firm, was no different.
After over a decade in business, with year-over-year growth and a pending move to a modern new office space, this 25-person firm asked us to study their requirements and recommend suitable next steps for their brand and other communication touchpoints.
By far the most significant challenge with this project was understanding, and then devising, a way to communicate to overlapping target audiences. Mechwave’s offering was further complicated by the fact that the firm offers two key services: traditional sub-consulting and also prime consulting.
A large majority of engineering firms are positioned as sub-consultants, offering engineering services to an architecture firm whose scope also typically includes overall project leadership and management. Mechwave is—at its foundation—a sub consultancy, but the firm also has a special niche in delivering prime consulting on specific project types. The firm needed to find a way to communicate both offerings to their intended targets without creating conflict.
Through a process that included interviews with staff, clients, vendors, and key management, we uncovered details about core service offerings, competencies, modes of delivery, potential issues, and opportunities. With this research in hand, we were able to quickly determine that the dual service offering and audiences would not be adequately addressed within the existing logo.
The resulting identity is centered around the idea of leadership and teamwork. As prime consultants, their expertise in mechanical engineering enhances their ability to lead. When sub-consulting, Mechwave leverages those leadership skills to function more cohesively and collaboratively. Rather than a point of insecurity, these two roles are intertwined, strengthening the overall firm offering.
The new Mechwave logo is emblematic of the collection of elements that relate to their work, their people, and their process—coming together in the same way that the systems they create operate as a seamless unit. The red shapes represent the cooperative role they take in sub-consulting work, while the blue shapes stand for the leadership qualities in prime consulting roles the firm takes on. The overlap of red and blue in the logomark is symbolic of their ability to blend just the right mix of collaboration and leadership for every situation, from a primary role as mechanical engineers when acting as sub-consultants, to delivering project leadership as prime consultants for critical systems and other projects.
The red and blue colours are presented together as the main corporate identity, yet the two colours are used apart to delineate the specific areas of the firm’s practice.
From website through to window graphics, the identity and use of the icon as a key brand element provides a fresh, vital look and feel.
Yet capturing the fun, approachable, and professional vibe is only the beginning. Beyond aesthetics, we helped this firm with brand focus and strategic language to better understand how and to whom they talk about and deliver their services, which ultimately propels them toward their business goals.
This identity was honoured as a finalist in the 2012 Design Edge Regional Awards.
Launch website: mechwave.com
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