A Schererville-based branding firm that’s marketed everything from new craft breweries to big national brands is expanding its new headquarters on U.S. 30.

Mixdesign needs more room at 21 E. U.S. 30 to handle all the design work it's been getting from new restaurants and craft breweries. The firm also has recently landed a number of high-profile rebranding campaigns, including for Von Tobel Lumber & Hardware, the city of Calumet City and the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

The firm has done branding for clients like Church’s Chicken, Buffalo Wild Wings, Fair Oaks Farms, the University of Akron and White Lodging since it was founded 15 years ago. It designed the interiors of Northwest Indiana landmarks like Jak’s Warehouse Family Fun Center on Indianapolis Boulevard in Schererville. And the firm has been a go-to designer for new restaurants like Region Ale, Toast and Jam, Evil Horse Brewing, Bohemian Joe’s and Byway Brewing.

“At mixdesign, we’re rebranding the Region,” Chief Executive Officer Michaline Tomich said.

Lately, it’s done rebranding campaigns for municipalities like Whiting, Cedar Lake and Calumet City, coming up with new logos and reasons for people to visit. The firm for instance helped promote Whiting events and position the downtown business corridor along 119th Street as a year-round destination.

“Mix had helped us not only create a brand and logo for the city, but has helped us formulate our entire marketing strategy,” Mayor Joe Stahura said. “They have been valued partners of ours from day one.”

More than year ago, mixdesign lost a 9,000-square-foot warehouse full of props and other “weird things” it had acquired over the years and moved from its previous office on Cline Avenue in Schererville to its new location on U.S. 30. It also opened a retail space there for a sister company, Happy Days Shirt and Event Co.

Now it’s outgrown the space. Mixdesign is adding about 2,000 more square feet onto the building for an expanded woodshop for interior design, a screenprinting shop, a corporate conference room and meeting space, and a branding workshop where it can work on new craft brewery and other concepts.

“We have an opportunity for growth,” Tomich said.

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She founded the firm on in early 2002 when a client she did marketing for while at a firm in Chicago wanted to keep working with her after she left her job there.

“They asked where I went, and I was freelancing out of my apartment in Griffith,” she said. “I told her I was going to be in your area and I'll take you out to lunch. I wasn't actually going to be in her area, but I flew out there, gave a lunch presentation, and flew back home in the evening. I quickly formed a company and turned around and hired my first employees within a week."

The firm's branding business has blossomed over the years, and Tomich has worked with many of the biggest names in Northwest Indiana business, including dissolvable film-manufacturer MonoSol, Horseshoe Casino, and U.S. Steel Gary Works.

"They are so so talented and creative," said Toast and Jam owner Michelle Martinez, who hired mixdesign to design her breakfast restaurant. "We look forward to doing more projects with the mixdesign team."

The firm has beat out Chicago agencies for accounts like the new Chapman Center at the Moody Bible Institute.

Mixdesign has worked extensively with Fair Oaks Farms, designing its Pig Adventure and Pork Education Center, and helped with national campaigns for its Fairlife milk and Core Power protein drinks. It brought the actor Kevin Bacon for a concert at Fair Oaks and the reality show star Ty Pennington to the grand opening of WaterPlace in Crown Point in November.

"Our goal is to be the best, most thoughtful brand resource in the Midwest," Tomich said. "We want to help people take brands to the next level."

For more information, visit www.mixdesign.com.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.