The Driftless Area is geological region at the intersection of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It’s distinctive and beautiful—an area untouched by the glaciers that leveled much up the upper-midwest.
If you’ve spent much time in the driftless region of Iowa, you’ll know how different it feels from the rest of the state. It’s Iowa, but it doesn’t feel fair to just call it Iowa, because it’s not…uhh…flat enough. Over the last few decades it seems like Driftless has started to emerge as a regional identity. It’s a beautifully evocative name and I think it’s wonderful. The only shortcoming is it’s lack of descriptiveness, which has probably slowed up it’s adoption.
I’m really interested in the way regional identity works, and this case is especially interesting because it is an interstate region. There are both political and cultural obstacles to making an interstate region feel like a ‘real thing’ so I’ll be interested to see how the Driftless identity continues to change.
This is a little logo illustration that I think captures the misty draws and rolling hills of the region.