MSU’s brand to be updated for the first time in 25 years

Minnesota State has presented a new visual identity for the university, highlighting its position as a top choice for prospective students and energetic attitude of current students.

Senior Director of University Marketing and Communications Sara Frederick said the visual identity was not updated since 1998. She said the desire to look into the brand started about six years ago, when the cabinet of advancement started doing research. The results led to a decision to move forward and refresh the brand. 

“One thing we had heard was that our current logo was quiet and it didn’t really represent the boldness or the energy that students felt here and we really wanted to capture that we don’t want to be quiet,” said Frederick. “We want to represent the energy that we have on this campus.”

Associate vice president of university marketing and communications Amy Meckeler said the research consisted of multiple steps. The effort utilized focus groups and thousands of survey responses regarding the new brand.

“There was some market research and there were conversations with campus leadership,” said Meckeler. “There were focus groups with students, I think, 75 to 100. That included student focus groups’ surveys. All of that put together, they kind of synergize all of that and then come up with concepts on the first three concepts that people reviewed and voted on.”

Meckeler said the official start date to use the new brand elements is April 26.

“It won’t be like everything just changes right away,” said Frederick. “But over time, over a period of years we hope to get everything updated to the new brand starting. We will start with the digital footprint of the university because it’s easier to update our digital footprint and then we’ll just move through all the representations.”

The new elements are available for everyone on the main university’s website. The announcement about the change of the visual identity was made ahead of time to make sure everyone is aware about the change. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to share feedback and ask questions about the upcoming refresh. All inquiries can be sent to 

“The overall headline is we’re going to be educating the campus community about the new branding, share the plans for rollout and we’re very like collaborate with everybody to make sure we can bring the new brand to life,” said Meckeler.

The new branding is geared toward the community around the university. Its aim is to represent the population, show the prospective students our engagement and represent contributions to the regional economy. 

“We want to make sure that whatever we’re doing also represents us as sort of a university with an international reach as well,” said Meckeler. “But all of those core values, the vision and mission of the university are represented in the branding.”

The new visual identity adds a new secondary palette that can be used with purple and gold. Stomper was not excluded from the visual elements but the new icon with the flame was introduced. As it says on the website, “slight tweaks to our purple and gold make them warmer and richer and allow for more consistent use across print, digital and product applications.”

“The new messaging framework in our branding will help us surface and share more stories and communications about our faculty and their scholarship,” said Meckeler. “For example, one of our brand pillars is ‘expert minds, personal touch,’ and we’re excited to create a pattern of storytelling to express this important characteristic of the university to the public.”

The brand refresh and its elements will better express the core values of the university and its uniqueness in the higher-education.

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

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