A Brand Refresh for CMSM

CMSM's new look

If you stop into the Museum–or if you look around this very website!–you’ll notice we’ve been busy making some changes. 

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota adopted a slight refresh of our graphic identity which is emblematic of the bright future ahead. The new brand elements also sync up this updated website. “Play. It’s what we do” lives on as the CMSM tagline. Enjoy the bright and lively look of these new elements! 

Using the current logo as the base, the updated version utilizes new fonts, an updated color palette, and the use of gradients to better represent the CMSM. The last time a change like this was made at the Museum was when the “sunflower” logo was introduced when the Museum opened at its current location.

Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota brand refresh



Children's Museum updated logo and taglineBranding at its essence is about creating the relationship you want to have with your audience to foster preference, loyalty, and trust. Your audience’s perceptions of your organization are formed by each communication action and interaction; and every touchpoint is an opportunity to make a good impression. Branding is why children know the LEGO font and primary colors, why McDonald’s can be recognized by just one letter, and why purple and gold make Minnesotans think of the Vikings. 

There are four parts to a brand: 

  1. Brand Identity– How do you want your organization to be perceived? For CMSM, our brand identity is encapsulated in the concept of PLAY. 
  2. Brand Image– How is your organization ACTUALLY perceived? This is how the public (you!) interprets our vibe. If the identity and image don’t match, the organization has a problem. At the Museum, we think ours match pretty well right now. 
  3. Brand Culture– What are your organization’s values and guiding principles? How do you live them out? At the Museum, we value play (naturally), local resources, visitor experiences, community partnerships, and children’s well-being, to name a few.
  4. Brand Personality– This is just like a human’s personality! Are we fun? Are we active? Do we include everyone? Do we help others? We think YES. 


The short answer is WAY more than you’d think. Our design, marketing, and tech teams have been hard at work for months. First, they had to make a lot of decisions, like what colors, patterns, fonts, and images to use. Then they had to implement it on ALL of the Museum’s communication points. That’s a lot of things. Just to name a few: 

  • Website, social media
  • Stationery like envelopes and letterhead
  • Employee needs such as business cards and nametags
  • Signs, both inside and outside
  • Brochures, posters, and related print collateral
  • And LOTS more! 


As we’ve shared several times now, the future is bright at the Museum with the expansion and continued growth. It was with that in mind that a brand refresh was brought up. 

“What a great time to freshen up our brand as we enter this exciting new phase! The new look is emblematic of our energy and spirit as we move ahead in the years to come,” said CEO Louise Dickmeyer.

PLAY. It's what we do.

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