Marshall, Minnesota

For those who value seeing their horizon and helping shape it, Marshall - home to Southwest Minnesota State University and homegrown global brands, is the community that cultivates the best in us with an energy and optimism that make a difference for your family.
Community Wide
About This Project

Key Challenge

“I can’t put my finger on it.” A majority of folks in Marshall beamed with pride as they spoke about their love for their community. But North Star’s query of “What makes Marshall special?” received the same chorus of responses: Crickets. So it’s hard to discuss or promote a place when you can’t articulate its distinction. And it’s even harder to develop an identity that can start telling that special story. Marshall’s existing identity told people where they were in the state but little else.

Critical Insight

Marshall is self-reliant and selfless; probably the reason for those crickets. Their hard work should just speak for itself; that’s what many told us. Interested parties and observers can see a community that is busy producing great ideas, great citizens, great advances, great leaders, and more. There’s an energy in Marshall powered by people who relentlessly pursue the best for their families: their immediate family, their faith family, their sports teams, their neighborhood, and their business community. Whether it is innovating the supply chain for our nation’s food supply or educating the minds that will change the world, everything about Marshall is focused on the best outcomes.

Brand Identity

North Star recommended targeting those who prefer the clarity of an open horizon, a landscape away from urban crowds that sacrifices little in the way of amenities so that they can focus on achieving the best outcomes for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.


Creatively, the work needed to simultaneously invite interest and communicate the outsized global impact coming from this smaller community. After all, this university town is home to those famed Schwan’s ice cream trucks as well as other international powerhouses originating here on the Great Plains.  The tagline’s use of “cultivating” ties to the agricultural roots and nature of Marshall, and to the unrelenting commitment to finding the best solutions for everyone and everything (infrastructure, facilities, business success, healthcare, wellness, etc.). This in turn creates a culture of individual growth and achievement (bringing out the best). In the logo, the lowercase “m” in the mark has a friendly and approachable feeling. The arcs in the mark create a sense of motion (this is a place where things are happening) and also loosely represent the horizons that are so clear and accessible in Marshall. The stylized diamond above the “m” creates upward momentum and delivers the message of the exponential qualities of Marshall.