Minnesota State Mankato to Launch Brand Refresh

Included are updates to University’s visual identity, emphasis on story-telling

March 11, 2024 | News Story

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato President Edward Inch announced that the University is launching a brand refresh this spring.

Part of the brand upgrade, said Inch, is a bold new visual identity that aligns with Minnesota State Mankato’s position as a top option for prospective students in Minnesota and the five-state region. The new branding includes a series of redesigned University logos and word marks, but the update goes beyond the new look, said Inch.

“Although the new logos and marks will be a noticeable change, this brand refresh is more than just a visual update,” said Inch. “More importantly, it unifies our storytelling and messaging to the outside world and supports our strategic priorities.”

Minnesota State Mankato Vice President for University Advancement Kent Stanley said market research conducted over more than two years shows that the University is perceived by the public as a bold and innovative institution, and the new branding reflects that perception.

Stanley said the new University brand portfolio guides university communicators in emphasizing key strengths of the University, from its size and accessibility, to its welcoming and supportive environment and the resources it provides to the state and region.

Helping to frame storytelling, Stanley said, is the addition of the phrase “inspired action” to the University tagline, “Big Ideas. Real-world thinking,” that has been in place since 2009.

“Adding the words ‘inspired action’ to our tagline showcases our commitment to high-impact learning opportunities for students,” said Stanley. “Ideas lead to thinking, but we are also a community about action, and we are excited that this characteristic takes center stage as a significant element of our brand expression.”

David Jones, Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said new admissions materials would be among the first University materials to integrate the new brand identity.

The upgrade, Jones said, allows the University to better articulate “what we promise as an internationally recognized, comprehensive university and how we deliver on that promise.”

The University’s current branding has been in place since 1998, and Jones said it no longer represents the innovative, energetic nature of the University, whereas the new design will help Minnesota State Mankato stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Minnesota State Mankato is the second-largest public four-year university, by 30-day headcount, in the state of Minnesota.

For more information about Minnesota State Mankato’s new branding and phased rollout, please visit https://www.mnsu.edu/brand-standards/new/.

Minnesota State Mankato began exploring its brand refresh in June 2021. ADV Market Research & Consulting in Iowa City, Iowa, assisted in the process, which included surveys, focus groups and interviews with current and prospective students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and community members. The investment in the University’s brand refresh is an investment in the University’s students and community as well as its positive impact in the region, state and beyond, said Inch. The cost to develop the new branding was approximately $160,000 over three years.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,635 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 26 colleges and seven universities.

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