(MARION, IN) January 26th, 2017 – The City of Marion is unveiling a new brand and identity through a partnership with an academic group at Indiana Wesleyan University.
In April of 2016, Marion Mayor Jess Alumbaugh reached out to IWU, while a group of professors had recently stimulated an academic initiative comprised of about 20 students with big desires to make a lasting impact in the community through design. The group initiated discussions with leaders who had been exploring the next step in furthering a new identity to replace the decade-old catch phrase/logo, “Make it Marion.”
As the process began, the students and professors devoted their summer to gain a real understanding of Marion with an end goal of creating a new brand for the city.
The City worked with Grant County to secure for them a “workshop studio” in a downtown Marion building, formerly Salin Bank, on the courthouse square. The group had requested it, explaining it was ideal for gaining a true perspective of Marion. While working, the group soon created its own identity, Marion Design Co., which has now become an academic program under the Division of Art and Design.
Throughout the summer, Marion Design Co. worked daily to conduct research on Marion, and initiated community engagement in many forms. They then identified five categories which they explain make up the values of Marion: common identity, deliberate care, vibrant life, focused action, and tenacious hope.
“Our desire to assist in rebranding the city came from the desire to hear as many stories as possible and to empower one another through a message of hope and pride,” explained Herb Vincent Peterson, Marion Design Co. co-founder and professor.
In the fall, a smaller group began the creative process. They created a brand mark and accompanying design concepts based on the above values, as well as essence words they uncovered after distilling findings: belonging, foundation, discovery, understand, converge, and resourceful. They utilized their experiences of walking around the historical downtown, visiting notable sites, and touring tall buildings which told stories of their own. They collaborated to illustrate their experiences, and as a result, the letter M, found in the Jeffersonian grid of the heart of Marion, blossomed.
The students played with its structure and created a multi-dimensional M, comprised of the many parts that make up Marion, which seems to move forward when observed in tilted correlation with the grid.
“The M comes from repeating patterns within our many blocks and streets of businesses, homes, and great organizations. The center is proportional to the center square where the Grant County Court House sits.” – Marion Design Co.
The colors that make up the new mark are shades of blue (symbolizing trust, dependability, and serenity), and green (symbolizing growth, strength, and spirit), with a white background (representing purity). Color choices were also inspired from similar Marion/Grant County organizations.
“City of Marion” accompanies the newborn M in bold yet soft typeface which was specially created for Marion.
The new brand mark will be able to accompany additional taglines such as the City’s new slogan, “City of Champions.”
Mayor Alumbaugh reflected, “I’ve witnessed incredible passion, work ethic, and talent in these students and professors. I am pleased that they chose to partner with the City of Marion to create our new brand.”
The following students were a part of the Marion Design Co. team:
This press release was provided by the City of Marion, for more information contact the following:
Layla A. Price
Director of Community Development and Marketing, City of Marion, Indiana
Herb Vincent Peterson, MFA
Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder: Marion Design Co.
Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Graphic Design: Indiana Wesleyan University
Wendy Puffer, MFA
Licensed Interior Designer and Co-Founder: Marion Design Co.
Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Design for Social Impact: Indiana Wesleyan University