Marion Design Co. was born in 2016 from a need identified by the City of Marion to guide the community in sharing an authentic story deeply rooted in research, told by residents. Through months of in-person meetings, listening to stories of love, dedication to the city, and sometimes the painful past, they developed a new brand identity reflected in the current logo and website. In 2021, Marion Design Co. embarked on a new chapter by establishing an LLC as a self-sustaining business with continued commitment to revitalizing the community.
Marion Design Co. is a social design studio comprised of both professionals and interns. Some design deliveries include renovations, new interiors, brands, and marketing materials. They have conducted workshops, thinking sessions, strategic planning, college instruction, and most recently, guided tours through their new home in the Kennedy Art Center. “We’ve integrated more hospitality into our offerings through our new location, for instance, curating art exhibits and crafting immersive dining experiences that leave a lasting impression,” said Wendy Puffer, CEO.
Marion Design Co. initially began as a summer project with an anticipated lifespan of three months, but after years of success and growing partnerships, they envision a promising future in Marion. “One significant partnership has been with Chris Kennedy, former owner of Hartson-Kennedy,” said Puffer. From 2018, Kennedy worked with Puffer to establish an art gallery and expand MDC’s visibility. “Following our move, our reach has expanded, and we plan to continue growing.” She added, “Establishing relationships within and beyond state borders has amplified Marion’s recognition, while our partnership with the Kennedy Art Center has empowered meaningful conversations through the medium of art.”
In the fall of 2023, Marion Design Co. hosted a holistic learning session and interactive exhibit surrounding the subject of race in Marion through the lens of design. Their expansive work centered on sociology has attracted the attention of neighboring communities. Marion Design Co. is witnessing a growing appreciation for design evidenced by repeat business and uplifting stories. MDC has been recognized by Pattern magazine, international website Brand New, and Indiana Arts Commission. In 2023, MDC wrote an Arts Project Grant received by the Marion Arts Commission to support three exhibits to enhance community engagement through art.