Much has gone underway since Marion Design Co.’s initial launch in 2016. The creative collaboration has recently unveiled their latest endeavor with launching the new website for the City of Marion, CityofMarion.in.gov, in December of 2017.
It features a clean, modern layout and is a drastic turn-around from the city’s previous website.
“We’ve accomplished helping to develop values mission and the new identity for the City of Marion along with that, all new marketing material and imagery to help bolster communication,” Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Marion Design Co., Herb Peterson said.
Peterson also said that though it’s going to take a few years for all of these pieces to fully embody and embed themselves into the community, they are coming together and are well on their way.
“Prior to that work, the City of Marion did not have a list of values [nor did it] have a really strict mission statement. It didn’t know how to talk about itself in future thinking and by the research we were able to conduct with our community, we were able to hear what the community really wants and what the community is and out of that came these amazing projects,” Peterson said.
Such projects illuminated the community’s heartbeat which in turn jump-started new initiatives and thoughts.
As Marion Design Co. redirects its focus from the City of Marion rebranding project, it still progresses with the community in mind.
Among future projects for Marion Design Co. are the Design Library, where art and design based periodicals and literature may be loaned to individuals; and the Marion Makerspace/Tool Library, where members of the community can exchange time volunteered at local non-profits for the ability to work with a variety of tools ranging from 3-D printers and laser cutters to hammers and saws.
Marion Design Co. also plans to support Marion High School and the Marion Community School of the Arts in their initiatives with art and design.
Additionally, Marion Design Co. is in collaboration with three studio classes from IWU’s Division of Art and Design, working at activating store fronts spaces around downtown Marion to gesture “what-ifs” in hopes of inspiring business and activity within the downtown area.
“We also have been working on the ‘Groundwork for Growth’ which is a set of guidelines and tools that help the downtown community envision itself and to think about ways how downtown could work and look,” Peterson said.
Also in the works are Marion Cinema House, which features film and Jeffersonian Dinners — evening dinners where different groups are strategically invited to have a dinner together and discuss an essential theme centered around community, business, education and driving innovation.
“It was so evident that this kind of work can’t be done in silo,” Peterson said.
Chief Ideation Designer and Making Coordinator at Marion Design Co., Henrik Soderstrom, tells of how the heart of Marion Design Co. is to bring unity to the separated workflows and perceived walls within the community to make whole the Marion all share.
“That’s the payoff, it’s seeing that here’s a community that for quite some time has been fragmented, trying to work to do good things and then here’s this space that is now bringing these people like continuously not just once not just twice but all the time back together,” says Peterson. “It’s like … isn’t this the real definition of what community is?”