Minnesota Museum Of American Art | The “M”

Project: Rebrand
Deliverables: Brand Strategy, Naming, Brand Logo + Identity System

New name keeps it short and sweet

Following several strategy sessions with the Minnesota Museum of Art (MMAA) leadership team and a thorough audit of the brand, Mercury created a fresh and memorable brand identity that reflected the museum’s essential value: inspiring.

Seminal arts organization continues to evolve

Founded in the 1880’s, St. Paul-based MMAA is one of the oldest arts organizations in Minnesota. With several name changes, venue changes and developments in the collection during more than a century of operation, MMAA is once again poised to take its place as a leader in the arts community.

An exciting and integral piece of the organization’s growth and expansion includes a permanent home for the museum within the Historic Pioneer Endicott. This $12.5 million development project will begin this winter and involve major renovations of the buildings, originally designed by Cass Gilbert and Solon Beman, resulting in over 20,000 square feet of public space.


The Minnesota Museum of American Art was struggling with a long name that was consistently being shortened to the acronym MMAA. Many times, people would miss an A or add an M and it made for a foggy brand identity.


Museum leadership decided it was time to ditch the old acronym and develop a fresh and user-friendly name that would help them connect with a whole new audience. After a deep dive into what makes the MMAA unique and available, the M was born. As the most important letter in the former acronym, the M stands for both Museum and Minnesota, the basis of the organization for more than 75 years.

The new nickname and brand identity is as fresh, exciting and approachable as the museum itself. Named the Twin Cities Best Museum by City Pages, the M will surely continue to offer engaging and thought-provoking shows that celebrate talented local and national artists.