Designs Featuring Cover Art

Uncategorized

As I’ve written before, sometimes a book’s cover art is so eye-catching that it becomes the center-piece in a library-related design. Whether you’re promoting next week’s book club, a new addition to the collection or a speaker series, sometimes it helps to let the cover art take center stage.

Meggan Frost, Public Services Librarian at Paul Smith’s College took advantage of some great book art to create a set of posters that are eye-catching and make a statement.

Rebuilding the Foodshed poster

I made these posters using a very similar template to promote some speakers (and their books) we’ve hosted recently in the library. Sometimes you just need something easy that looks great, and this template fits the bill. Book image + publisher description + date/time/place + a judicious use of nice fonts = an eye-catching poster. I like to print posters as big as I can. These are 24”x36” and 36”x48”. Because they are meant to be printed so big, the quality of the images is very important. Google image search has a filter that will allow you to limit to the largest possible image. I like to play around with fonts, but obviously readability is a big factor for a text heavy poster. I used Junction for the text and Nevis in bold for the headings, both available for free online. I think the slightly unusual fonts draw the eye while still being perfectly legible. Of course, the bright red book covers don’t hurt either!

Three Squares poster

Meggan created these posters using Adobe InDesign. For the original files, email Meggan.

Conference Posters: They Can Be Beautiful Too

Poster

Collective Engagement Poster

At our ALA Annual Conference Poster presentation for Librarian Design Share, April and I were so lucky to have our poster stationed next to the lovely Jennifer Brown, MSI candidate and University Library Associate at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. If you aren’t familiar with the University Library Associates (ULA) program at the University of Michigan, this poster will give you a great introduction or you can read more about it.

In person, this poster sings! As you can see from the image above, it really is quite striking and beautiful. Jennifer’s use of color and alignment make it easy to read and lovely to see. Here’s what Jennifer has to say about it:

At this past ALA Annual Conference, my colleague and I presented on the unique partnership that the University of Michigan School of Information has with the MLibrary system. The University Library Associates program is a great opportunity for library students (like myself) to engage with the field professionally, and in ways that are sometimes absent in our library school curriculum. Further, seasoned professionals say that they benefit from learning and growing alongside us.

In the initial design phase, I began by selecting a color palette and layout that I thought appropriate for comparing two similar, but distinct, groups. I wanted to ensure that the theme remained consistent (which meant adopting a common shape, and threading that throughout the design), and tried to express quantitative and qualitative data visually, so as to draw the eye. I also made liberal use of public domain and creative commons licensed icons at The Noun Project, and generated the word cloud using a fantastic site called Tagul. Most importantly, though, I wanted to utilize white space thoughtfully, so as not to overwhelm individuals with too much all at once. In all, I had a fantastic time presenting this poster, and look forward to designing many more materials in the future!

 

If you’d like to see the Adobe Illustrator version of the file, you can email Jennifer. You can also download a large PDF version of the poster.

Readers’ Advisory in Horoscope Form

Displays, Giveaways

Readers' Advisory Horoscopes

Our latest design comes to us from Christina Gehring, Adult and Teen Services Librarian at the Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In it, Christina proves that the long arm of readers’ advisory knows no bounds!

I know plenty of friends and patrons who regularly read their horoscopes. As I was looking at some new astrology board books one day, it occurred to me that horoscopes might be a great place to insert some library propaganda.  I have a revolving monthly display in front of the reference desk, and it took just a few hours to make these for an astrology book display.

I used the website eAstrolog to find monthly horoscopes, and took out and rewrote some predictions that I thought might lend themselves to book recommendations.  I found the images for the bookmarks by limiting a Google search with “labeled for reuse.”  My reading suggestions only point to genres, library programs, and services rather than titles to allow the reader to tailor the suggestion to their taste. Sometimes I added that they could ask their librarian for a more specific suggestion. My coworker had the great idea of adding famous literary characters and authors at the bottom, which ended up being one of the most frequently commented on aspects of the bookmarks.

The bookmarks were put out at desks at libraries across my library system, as well as shared on social media.

You can download the original Microsoft Office document with all of Christina’s literary horoscopes or contact her for greater detail about her designs.

Librarian Design Share at ALA

Displays

Going to Las Vegas for ALA Annual Conference? We are too! April and I will be presenting a poster about our work on Library Design Share on Saturday, June 28 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm in the Conference Center Exhibit Hall, poster station #17. Stop by, say hi and watch us try to color-coordinate our outfits to our poster!

If you aren’t able to come to Vegas, take a look at our poster below. If you want to reuse any design elements from the poster let us know in the comments section or send us an email.

 

Librarian Design Share ALA 2014 Poster

Now In Concert: Advertising Events in the Library

Flyers & Advertisements

One of the challenges of advertising library events on college campuses is the non-stop barrage of publicity emails, flyers, posters, and announcements that fly around campus. Whether it’s the ultimate frisbee team’s bake sale fundraiser or the theater department’s latest dance performance, somewhere on campus someone is holding an event. The preponderance of “stuff” going on increases the need for targeted, engaging and attractive advertising for library events.

This is where our latest submission comes in.

Brandon Scheirman, Marketing and Graphic Arts Associate at the Pepperdine University Libraries, created a series of posters using Adobe Illustrator advertising a guitar students’ concert, a part of a monthly concert series held at the library.

Guitar Series Poster Blue

My library holds a monthly classical guitar concert in one of its rooms and my job was to create a series of posters that advertised these concerts in a clear and classy manner. I wanted to go for a little bit of a retro feel that brought color and bold images to the library, which is something that the library has struggled with. These posters have been widely recognized across campus and brought the events together as a cohesive series.


Guitar Series Poster Green

Brandon’s posters are a beautiful example of unifying different designs through the repetition of common elements. In this case, he maintains consistent use of typography and imagery by repeating the same font in different colors as well as the same guitar from different angles. The library logo remains unobtrusive but still present, letting the fantastic, bold poster design shine through.

Guitar Series Poster RedIf you’re interested in learning more about how these posters were created or obtaining a copy of the Illustrator files, please email Brandon Scheirman.

Visualizing Research is Hard

Displays, Infographics

I’ve been working on a poster for my institution’s ACRL Assessment in Action project for the past month or so and it’s easily been one one of the toughest things I’ve had to design EVER. With ALA and other summer conferences around the corner, I’m willing to bet there are plenty of librarians and library students in epic-poster-design-battle-mode at the moment. So let’s talk posters, research and pictures.

To sum up our AiA Project: The St. Mary’s College of Maryland team was interested in learning if faculty-librarian collaboration had an impact on students’ information literacy (IL) skill development in the First Year Seminar (FYS: a required course for all first year students). It was a multi-method assessment: student surveys, faculty surveys, librarian surveys, rubric-based assessment of student essays and faculty interviews. This made coming up with a poster design particularly challenging since there was simply SO MUCH INFORMATION to share.

After hearing from an AiA cohort member who was taking a really simple, conversational approach to designing her project poster, I knew that I wanted to try to replicate that approach as much as possible. There is only so much information you can take in from a poster, and I would much rather be talking to people about different aspects of my project than having them squinting at the text above my shoulder.

AiA-Poster-Draft-small

I still think the poster is kind of busy, but to be honest, I’m so tired of it right now that I’m willing to let it go through the AiA peer review process and worry about it next week. It still needs alignment adjustments, and I’m not totally sold on the white font on the blue background, but it’s something!

Here are the pieces I like best:

Methods: All of our assessment pieces were part of a greater whole, and took place at various points throughout the semester. I was inspired by other AiA colleagues who took a timeline approach to their methods section and thought this was a nice compromise.

methods

Research Question & Background: This was originally a long paragraph with background information about our First Year Seminar, our IL outcomes, and our assessment project. I decided that if someone really wanted the long story, they could visit our project website (which I’m in the process of developing) or just ask me more about it. I paired down the research description to the just the essential question and basic facts about the FYS and our involvement with it.

question

Results: This is just a portion of the results section, which was easily the most difficult section to develop. I’m still not totally pleased with it, but I wanted to try something other than bullet points and graphs. I don’t know if I did the right thing leaving out numbers and I may go back and change that, but again, I think if people want the finer details I can refer them to the project website with averages, t-test scores and correlation scores, right (I hope)?

results

What kind of posters are you working on for conferences this summer? What’s your approach to visualizing your research?

This poster was created using Photoshop. If you’re interested in any portion of the design, contact me and we’ll work something out because the poster file is rather large!

 

 

 

Let Us Know

Flyers & Advertisements

Assessment isn’t easy, and sometimes the hardest part of measuring your effectiveness is getting patrons to take a survey.  When our library embarked on the LibQual survey last month, we had a goal to reach more patrons that we had in 2010.  We agreed that a marketing campaign was the best way to accomplish this, and that our catch-phrase would be “Let Us Know,” which is simple, but exactly what we wanted patrons to do.  So I got busy making designs to promote our LibQual.

Whenever I start to create something, I look for other examples out there for inspiration.  I found these amazing designs from a French library (and then of course I had to Google translate to understand the text!):

Affiche2Libqal+40X60cm

Affiche3Libqal+40X60cm

These marketing signs were unlike any others I had seen, and I knew I wanted to create something similar for our library.  In the designs above, you are asked if you prefer your library one way or another…I didn’t have a lot of staff to stage pictures, so I used the pictures we already have.  My designs don’t compare services, but each one does ask a question straight from the LibQual survey.

libq1

libq2

I placed eight different variations of this design around the library to catch patrons’ eyes, but to remain consistent in design and message.  I furthered our library “brand” by using orange, the color we use on our handouts, website, and instructional materials.  Our patrons are pretty used to seeing “library orange” these days.  To continue the message, we used the phrase, “Let Us Know” with an orange picture in emails to faculty, staff, and students, and we placed this banner on our website:

news_banner10

So how did it go?  Well, we increased our respondent rate by 25% from years past.  We can’t directly count the marketing for the increase, but I’d say it didn’t hurt.

What are you doing to promote your library?  Have you tried to market your LibQual survey?  Share your designs here with us!  And, if you would like the original Publisher documents to modify for your library, contact me.

Read the Rainbow

Displays, Uncategorized

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

General Handouts & Brochures

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:

3-4-2014 8-29-09 AM

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):

Picture1

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

Design Aids

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.