Read the Rainbow

Read the Rainbow: Literacy in Pantone SwatchesWe’ve featured a few different book displays on Librarian Design Share since our blog began, and I have to admit they’re my secret favorite thing to post. I don’t really get the opportunity to create displays for my library, so I think posting other people’s displays is my way of filling a personal design void.

This fantastic display comes to us from Leanne Mobley, MLS Candidate at Indiana University and the Center Supervisor at the Willkie Library, Indiana University Residential Programs & Services Libraries.

Read the Rainbow: Literacy in Pantone SwatchesHere’s Leanne in her own words:

For the month of April, I put together a “Read the Rainbow” display to highlight our fiction collection. The display is an homage to the classic Pantone paint swatches. I rounded up a handful of books with vibrant covers and then used the eyedropper tool in Illustrator to select the main color featured.

I also ransacked the paint swatches at our local hardware store and covered our bulletin board. We mostly circulate DVDs and music, but our patrons are really enjoying the display and seem to be taking notice of our fiction collection.

Read the Rainbow: Literacy in Pantone Swatches

April and I both love classic look of Pantone color swatches and can easily see this display replicated in academic, school, and public libraries. Really any library with a fiction collection would be able to do this!

If you have questions about the display, leave a comment. For the Illustrator files that accompany this display, contact Leanne directly.

A Breath of Fresh Air

We recently had some changes in our library, which precipitated a change in the General Info sheet that we have on our desk.  Originally, I was just going to update the information, but it seemed like a good time to mix up the design too, as we haven’t in over two years.

Here’s the old design, heavy with institutional colors, a traditional image, and lots of text:

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And here’s the newer version with lots of white space and an image of our library that better represents our focus here (i.e., not solely books or even the physical world):

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So, yes, most of the text is still present, but I feel like it has more room to “breathe” with more white space.  I’ve retained our brand and color scheme, but simplified the design, and I’m a lot happier with the look.

Do you periodically update the look of publications in your library?  If you’ve done any of this lately, we’d love to see some before and afters!

If you are interested in the MS Publisher version of this design, contact April.

Color Palettes From Your Favorite Images

At the ALA Midwinter ACRL Marketing Discussion Group, a librarian shared a great little online color palette generator with me, and I, in turn, am sharing it with everyone else.

The DeGraeve Color Palette Generator will create two color palettes based on a photo URL, one vibrant, one dull. Take a look at it in action:

degraeve color palette generator

It’s a great tool to use whenever you’re building a flyer, poster, or web design around an image.

Flood of Information

Sometimes when bad things happen, you brush them under the rug and pretend they never happened. Other times, you have to address them, embrace them, and then celebrate them. I’m so happy that our library did the latter after our leak last year. We were lucky to have the institution’s full support to repair our space. Once we did that, we decided to throw a party to recognize those who helped us and to welcome back our patrons.

rmlcelebrate

When designing the invitations (above) for our celebration, our library felt that it was important to keep the theme very similar to that of the leak communications. As a group, we brainstormed ideas that would go with the droplet, and we came up with the idea of using an umbrella. It’s a protection device, and that’s what our role was during the leak–protecting both our collection and our patrons from harm. I presented the following designs to the library to vote on:

umbrellas

I used clipart umbrellas from Microsoft Word, filling some with colors and changing the outline colors.  I combined the umbrella image with multiple clipart rain droplets that I previously used.  This design was OK, but it felt like the library had endured more of a flood than just a few drops of water…so I used the curvy line drawing feature in Publisher to insert a “flood” that runs to the umbrella.  Our staff overwhelmingly voted for the flood rather than the drops, and they liked the simpler umbrella best, so we had an icon for our party invitation and publicity efforts.

This design opened a floodgate of ideas (sorry for the pun, but get ready for a lot more to come!).  We decided our party would include a self-guided “Flood of Information” tour, which would highlight the different spots in the library that were affected, as well as connect those spots to a fact about our services.  Each station, named after songs that we thought exemplified the experience, was an exhibit: we had a tape line that showed how far the water flooded; we displayed damaged books; we had pictures and videos from the leak; and we showed a video about disaster recovery.  The five stations were easily found with a map that was coordinated to blue paper droplets taped to the floor.  Below is the two-sided map we distributed to our guests (and I won’t even go into the boring details of making the map, although it probably took longer than any other part of the design!).

floodofinfotour

To make our party even more personalized, after the tour, we invited guests to enjoy homemade cookies that all of us on staff had baked.  It was a warm welcome back for our patrons and a real celebration of our successful recovery.

If you are interested in any of the designs above to modify for your own recovery or celebration, let me know.

Good Design Doesn’t Happen Alone

 
 

 

On Saturday I gave a short talk at the ACRL Marketing Discussion Forum at ALA Midwinter. The whole presentation, as you can tell from the title slide, was about using the people and communities around you to help you create better, more engaging visual materials for library marketing and outreach efforts. It may have been cold enough in Philly to make me wish I was in Texas in July, but the conversation at our discussion was lively and warm! I had a blast. Big thanks to Katy Kelly and Jessica Hagman for inviting me to participate, and I hope y’all enjoy the slides.

This presentation was created using Photoshop. Images were saved as PNG files and layered onto a Google Slideshow. For any of the original Photoshop files, email me, Veronica.

Library Therapy

Miyo Davis at St. Francis College Library wanted to host a Library Study Break for students during finals, but didn’t have the budget for a huge event.  Inspired by this post on Librarian Design Share and an idea she got from a talk at an ACRL conference about librarians as research therapists who are available to assist with issues patrons have while researching, Miyo demonstrates that chocolate is always the best medicine.
Miyo describes her design process below: 
We have a ton of leftover Demco® Processing Circulation Label Sets 1-5/8″ x 2-9/10 (SLB spine labels) so my first prototype was a result of just typing up our contact information into the OCLC Label Program.  It was an effective way of getting out our contact info but didn’t really have any personality.  I then downloaded a Microsoft Word template from DEMCO’s website.  Working in Microsoft Word gave me a lot more flexibility with font size, style, color and allowed me to add pictures. For my second prototype I experimented with incorporating our school logo.  This looked nice, but again, I felt like I could take the design a step further.
prototypes
 
Going with this theme [library therapy], I thought it would be funny if the labels on the candy looked like the labels on prescription bottles.  With a little personalization, I turned the library into a pharmacy and the chocolate became “Prescription Chocolate” and “Emergency Chocolate.”  They were a big hit and the students appreciated the joke.
Prescription
These are fun and very timely.  If you are interested in the original Word file to create your own library therapy chocolate, contact Miyo.

Changing it Up a Little

April and I started this blog last December, and since then, we’ve been so impressed with the designs you’ve shared with us. In an effort to better showcase new designs and mix things up a bit, we’ve given Librarian Design Share a little face lift.

New year, new theme, new layout.

You can still search the blog for design inspiration, and all of our category, tag, and archive information are available in the site footer.

Hope y’all enjoy the changes around here.

DIY or Prefab it?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. We might be under a tight deadline to create a presentation for a class or a series or brochures for an event. We weigh out our time constraints against the creativity raging inside our brains, our proficiency with design tools, and our desire to work on a particular design piece. Then we come back to our question: Do I DIY it or Prefab it?

At Librarian Design Share, April and I have made it a point to share original designs created by library-related folks for library-related purposes. Your designs are AH-MAZING (and of course we want to encourage you to keep ‘em coming). We would of course, be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the role that prefab designs play in our work. In fact, one could argue that, since all designs on Librarian Design Share are available for adaptation and resuse, this blog is in fact a sort of prefab design site.

If you aren’t familiar with traditional prefab design sites, just think of Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint Templates on steroids. Some of the more popular flyer and infographic creation sites out there are ones like:

They offer a variety of attractive templates that can be customized to varying degrees to meet your design needs. Many retain some kind of a branding presence on the end result (a logo, a link to their homepage, etc.), but it’s a small price to pay for a good-looking end result. Some of these sites allow for much more customization than others. Piktochart is definitely on the more customizable end of the spectrum.

Take for example, Sarah Visintini, System Administrator at the Social Media Lab at Dalhousie Unviersity in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who used Piktochart to it’s most creative effect. Here are two infographic presentations she created using a blank Piktochart template and all of the many elements available through this site:

social media in health

Social Media in Health Care: How social media can help you better connect to your patients and to your community.

Using and infographic to present is a visually engaging way to relay information that takes you outside of the normal PowerPoint / Prezi mold.

So when do you use prefab sites? Or do you always DIY?

Video Slidedeck Theme

Earlier this month I presented at the Brick & Click Academic Libraries Symposium on a student-led library video project I started at St. Mary’s. This post is not about that project. But it is about slidedecks and how, when given the opportunity to make things easy, I make things more difficult for myself. BECAUSE THAT’S THE KIND OF GAL I AM.

I wanted a fun video-related theme running through my presentation slides and decided to upcycle a poster I had originally created to publicize our library’s new Films on Demand subscription. I changed around some fonts (using Arvo and Sofia Pro Light), added some movie-related icons and other graphic elements through-out and BLAM-O, a new template was born. It was really more of a time-consuming why-did-I-decide-to-do-this creation rather than a spontaneous design, but I’m happy with the final project and hoping that by sharing it I can save some people some time.

I’ll end with a brief exchange I had with my husband about this slidedeck:

ME: Check out my presentation slides!!!!!
HIM: Cool. I didn’t know Powerpoint had that theme.
ME: It doesn’t. I made my own theme.
HIM: Of course you did. *head pat*

You can check out the embedded slidedeck through Slideshare, or email me, Veronica, for the original PP slides and Photoshop layout.

 

Making Your Library Promotion Pop

We’re all working to make our designs pop as librarians, but it’s probably rare that we actually sit back to consider the principles behind the designs we are making. However, just a couple of months ago, I was asked by the Medical Library Association to present on this topic.  So, I am posting the presentation as both a review of basic design and also as an inspiration for design, because it was (by far) the hardest part of making this presentation!

When you make a PowerPoint presentation about design, you want it, uh, designed well. I’m tired of the themes that PowerPoint has to offer, so I usually design my own when I can. While I didn’t come up with the title for this presentation, I did want to play off of it. “Making your Library Promotion Pop” conjures up many themes–popcorn, pop art, popsicles…  I tried them all unsuccessfully, until I came across an unlikely inspiration saved on an older flashdrive: a New Year’s Eve party invitation that I admired some time back and planned to recreate for my own use.  The fireworks and the colors are modern, graphic, and exciting and the elements of the invitation just kind of created the theme for me.
Picture1
You never know where inspiration will strike…or pop!
If you are interested in the original PowerPoint file, contact me.