Holiday Hours

Library Signage

Like many libraries out there, my library has reduced hours during the holidays.  This creates quite a bit of confusion for patrons, and it’s compounded when our signage looks like this:

hours before

Sure, all the information you need is right there, but it’s so hard to read.  I made this schedule to hang outside the library, and after printing it, I realized how bad it was. I took the same information and rearranged it into a calendar format:

hours after

Way better, right?  It’s so much clearer when we’re open and when we close early.  The color and graphics make the sign just a bit friendlier too.  It literally took 5 additional minutes to insert a table into Publisher and find the snowflake clip art than it did to make the block of text from the first sign.  I’d say it’s worth the effort!

We’d love to see examples of revised signage you all have tackled.  Submit your designs here!

Happy Medical Librarians Month (a little late)

Displays, Giveaways, Informational

October was National Medical Librarians month.  I realize that’s in the rear-view mirror now, but still wanted to share what we did to celebrate in my library this year.

I was inspired by a trip that Veronica and I took to the local Portland library while we were there for a conference.  The Multnomah County Library had a great display on their counter of colorful business cards with simple, effective icons and messages like the one below (I know, I should have collected them all!):

cardfront

I liked the idea that patrons could easily pick up the card to learn more about and learn more about the library’s services.  I wanted to implement this somehow at my own library. After brainstorming with staff, we decided to use the five weeks of October, which is National Medical Librarians Month, to celebrate our services. However, with our limited resources (read: me printing on cardstock on the staff machine and then using the paper cutter), we decided to make our takeaways just a bit bigger into the shape of bookmarks that we already are used to cutting and displaying.

Below are the five features we decided to highlight and the Publisher bookmarks (fronts on the top row and backs on the bottom) that I created:

bkmks

We were happy with the candy-colored printed bookmarks and thought that it would be really cool if these giveaways could coordinate with colors of REAL candy.  This involved a carefully planned trip to the grocery (thank goodness it was near Halloween with lots of candies to choose from), and some masterful exhibit making involving colored books, journals, and all the containers we could find in the library.  Here’s how it turned out week-by-week…please excuse the amateur photography:

Our library as a physical space:

orange

 

Our mobile resources:

IMG_1111

Our collections:

b1photo

Our educational offerings:

rml

Our archives:

photo purple2

 

Our patrons loved the changing displays and anticipated the colors, candies, and services they would see the next week.  Of course, more than anything, they liked the candy, but lots of good conversations were sparked in the month of October.

Do you celebrate months or certain days in your library?  We’d love to see your pics and materials if you do!  If you would like a PDF or the original Publisher document for the bookmarks, you can download them for adaption from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.

Hand Lettering on Sidewalk Chalkboard Signs

Poster

I almost ate it and went with a pun for this blog post. Thankfully, I decided to bury “Chalk it up to good design” and focus on the great hand-lettering-style fonts on this poster. Like Nono’s chalkboard-style conference poster, today’s featured design makes good use of old school chalkboard cool to create a poster that’s sure to catch students’ attention.

Remember to Return Your Books to the Carl B.

Solveig Lund, Instruction and Reference Librarian at the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College created this poster using Microsoft Publisher.

The circulation manager asked me to create a 24×36 poster to place outside on a main campus sidewalk at the end of the semester to remind students to return their books to the library.  There are many collections of chalkboard fonts and sample designs available on Pinterest that I used for inspiration. I used Microsoft Publisher to create the sign and downloaded free fonts/wingdings from dafont, including:

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit obsessed with the Chalk Hand Lettering pack right now. You can download and adapt Solveig’s original Microsoft Publisher file, which is available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.

Beautifying Journal Reviews

Web Design

Journal reviews are serious business at academic libraries. If any of you have been through a systematic departmental or subject review of your academic journal holdings you’ll know that faculty are very protective of these materials. If you utter the word “cut” or “cancel” with no context to a room full of academics you are pretty much guaranteed loud-talking, moderate to wild gesticulation, the stink-eye, and laments about the glory of the library in graduate school. It’s a touchy topic.

Enter my colleague at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Alana Verminski. In addition to the usual subject librarian trifecta of instruction, reference and collection development, Alana is also tasked with managing our library’s e-resources. Given rising serial costs and flat budgets, she’s recently developed a plan for us to be much more intentional and systematic about our journal subscription renewal decisions. To accompany this new review process, she created two designs for our website that will also be adapted into handouts for faculty in departments undergoing a journal review.

1. The Journal Review Process

The Journal Review Process

2. All About Usage Statistics

All About Usage StatisticsHere’s what Alana had to say about her designs:

These designs will be part of a series of web pages intended to inform faculty of the new journal review process. Unfortunately, journal usage statistics can be a dry topic for non-librarian audiences and like most statistics, can easily become overwhelming. In this design, I wanted something that was uncluttered and colorful – two ideas not usually associated with statistics. Keeping the audience and format in mind, I focused on using more images than text and for the usage statistics in particular, described each item as part of a larger process so viewers could see both the individual steps and the bigger picture. I used Google Drawings for the designs and found the icons on IconFinder.

I think this a great example of taking a complex library topic and creating a graphic that explains it well to non-librarians. You can find copies of the original Google Drawings Alana created in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder. If you have questions about the designs or about the journal review process we’re adopting at St. Mary’s, email Alana Verminski.

No Original Ideas

Slideshow Templates

I’m pretty sure that there are no original ideas out there anymore.  I regularly apply this philosophy to designs I create.  When I start a new project, I find something that is inspiring, and then try to adapt the design (maybe just the colors, or shapes, or fonts) to my needs.  For example, I recently ran across the Scopus blog while preparing a presentation about the H-Index.

01-scopus-blog

I found the header of the blog to be modern and beautiful, and I wanted to try to recreate it.  However, with limited time, I couldn’t pull it off (you know, I had to focus on the content more than the design). Instead, I used my Colorzilla tool to capture the colors and I used the idea of the circles and connecting lines to illustrate the concept of “H-Index and Beyond,” as you can see below.  To further the modern feel of the presentation, I used the font, Multicolore, which you can download here (and here’s a little trick that Veronica just taught me about SlideShare: to avoid losing your non-standard fonts, save your document as a PDF before uploading to the site!).

I wouldn’t say that this is the best presentation I’ve ever created, and I still regret not being able to create the window-paned orbits like Scopus made, but I feel like it borrows from the original design without plagiarizing it.

You can find the original file here to download on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder.  Feel free to modify the PowerPoint for your own use, and if you create something cool, let us know!  We love to feature updates of designs here on the blog.

Vintage-Modern Message

Flyers & Advertisements, Library Signage

Paseo Verde Library in Nevada has the same problem that many libraries do: patrons who loudly carry on phone conversations without regard for those around them.  Instead of shushing or putting up passive-aggressive signage that no one reads, Virtual Branch Librarian Tawnya Shaw designed something that clearly conveys the message with an image that might just cause patrons to do a double-take:

No-Cell-Sign2

To create this eye-catching design, Tawnya used Photoshop to alter a piece of Victorian clip art and Rockwell font for the text.  The combination of image, font, and white space make this vintage design somehow feel very modern and effective.

Want to get the message out at your library?  You can download the original files from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder and modify as you wish.

Brochures for Students & Alumni

General Handouts & Brochures

Big thanks to Rebecca Seipp, Outreach & Humanities Liaison Librarian at the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University, for being one of our first Back-to-School design features. Rebecca’s sharing the “Guides to the Library” brochures for students and alumni that she recently revised. These kinds of publications are so tough to pull together. Information changes constantly, and it’s always a balancing act between including information that you think will be helpful and not bombarding people with too much text. I think Rebecca strikes a fantastic balance.

Student Guide - Front and Back - Final

Student Library Guide – Front & Back

Here’s Rebecca talking about her work on these brochures:

This summer I updated our alumnae and student guides at the library. Over the past few years information was continually added to these guides without any redesign. Predictably, that resulted in guides that were dated and dense. My goals for the new guides were twofold: to create a clean look and to include just enough information to highlight our services and keep people interested. All the images were taken by university marketing and the primary colors are from the university’s color palette. Both guides were created in Photoshop and are designed to be printed front/back and folded vertically. You’ll notice that the student guide has text on the inside middle – since it’s only one page when folded the text is still easy to read and it adds an unexpected design element.

Student Guide - Inside Final

Student Guide – Inside

You can see that the guides for alumni are targeted to their specific population and make nice use of a stunning shot of the library and a calm color palette.

Rebecca has shared the original Photoshop files for these brochures on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder. She just has two notes about the files:

The Hollins University logo was removed from the back side of the alumnae guide and replaced with text that says “your logo here.”

When creating the student guide I accidentally flattened the back that has the staff pictures – oops! So what I did is created the boxes and text in the boxes as separate layers and then just have the images grouped together as one layer. So the bones will still be there, but there won’t be any guides for the size of images and text boxes for librarian info.

Thanks for the heads up, Rebecca, and thanks for sharing!

Alumnae Guide Front and Back

Alumnae Guide – Front and Back

Alumnae Guide - Inside

Alumnae Guide – Inside

Chalkboard-Style Poster Design (with Fonts to Love)

Poster

Chalkboard Poster by Nono Burling

Nono Burling, Online Resources Coordinator at Washington State Library and manager of the ASK WA Virtual Reference Project, first shared this amazing chalkboard-style poster design on the ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach (LMaO) Facebook group, and we are so excited to feature it here today. It’s a good example of trying something new with conference poster design and makes great use of interesting fonts. Here’s Nono talking about her design process:

I’d originally been asked to present at the College Librarians and Media Specialists of Washing State (CLAMS) 2014 fall conference, but due to time constraints my presentation turned into a poster session. I wanted something eye-catching that would draw people. I’ve always loved those chalkboard designs you see in coffee shops so decided to try one of my own. The “Sneak Peek” part of the poster is a lift-the-flap piece. The entire design goes on a 36″ by 48″ tri-fold poster board.

Here are some of the fonts I used in this design for both the text and ornamental pieces, all free to download:

You can also see more fonts that would work well on a chalkboard design at this great Font Round-Up.

Nono’s poster was created using MS Publisher and Powerpoint. You can download the original files from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder and adapt to your heart’s content (just remember to give Nono a shout-out). Excuse me while I go download all these fonts…

Back-to-School Designs

Uncategorized

Welcome Back

The start of the fall semester is a crazy time for those of us who work in school or academic libraries. There are usually orientations for new undergrads, grad students and faculty; open house events for prospective students; and plenty of campus tours that highlight the awesomeness of our libraries. We know many of you out there have put together some amazing orientation materials for your libraries and we’d love to feature them. Brochures, websites, buttons, stickers–if you used them at the start of this semester, we want to see them.

Just submit your design to librariandesignshare@gmail.com and help us build an amazing collection of reusable designs.

Get Infected With Knowledge

Poster

Get Infected With Knowledge - Zombie Library Promo Video Poster

 

We are loving this fantastic promotional poster created by Natalie Manke from the Metro Campus Library at Tulsa Community College to advertise their zombie-themed library promotional video, Get Infected with Knowledge.

Several of my coworkers and I, along with Tulsa Community College’s video production department, recently created a zombie-themed promotional video for our library (I would be remiss if I didn’t include a link to it), and I designed the poster we’re using to advertise it.

 

I created the poster in Photoshop. Since our video is zombie themed, I used classic horror movie posters as inspiration for the design I created. I was able to find some tutorials online that helped me give the poster a vintage feel to it. I used textures to make the paper appear aged and creased.  I also found some really great free fonts online from dafont.com. We were somehow able to convince our student activities department to make us a fake student ID for our zombie, so I used that as the main image on the poster. I am really thrilled with how the poster turned out in the end, and it was so much fun to design.

You can download a PDF copy of the poster from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive or you can email Natalie Manke for the original Photoshop file. You can also watch Get Infected with Knowledge on YouTube!