Odds and Ends Need Publicity Too

Flyers & Advertisements, Poster

If a student has thought to ask for it, chances are it’s available to borrow at an academic library’s circulation desk. My own library loans dry erase markers, color pencils, laptop chargers, extension cords and floppy disc drives (YES, REALLY), among so many other miscellaneous items. They aren’t expensive and the students are so appreciative to borrow them when we have them.

Stephanie Davidson, Interim Director of the Library at the University of Illinois College of Law, created two fun signs to tell students about all of the different things her library has available to loan.

Forgot Something? Charging Cables

Forgot Something? UmbrellasThese posters/signs were created using MS Word. You can download them for adaption from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.

Attention Teens!

Flyers & Advertisements

Teen Hangs

Getting teens’ attention in the library is hard. Luckily, Maggie Block, Young Adult Librarian at the Aldine Branch of the Harris County Public Library, has a great flyer suggestion for drawing them in to library events.

I wanted something that would grab teens at my library’s attention and get them excited about Teen Hangs without bogging it down with descriptions and attempts at “hip” language. And just using bright controllers managed to do just that: let them know this event would be fun and centered around their entertainment needs.

Maggie’s made the original Photoshop file of her flyer available to download via the Librarian Design Share Google Drive. (We’re just starting it up so there isn’t much in it right now.) Thanks, Maggie!

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.

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.

Flood of Information

Displays, Flyers & Advertisements, Logos

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.

DIY or Prefab it?

Flyers & Advertisements, Infographics

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?

Advertising Ebooks

Flyers & Advertisements, General Handouts & Brochures

My library is currently taking part in a demand-driven acquisition ebook pilot project through Proquest’s EBL and our state college and university library consortia. The challenge: advertise that mouthful to our students, faculty and staff. The solution: A mix of attention getting posters, slides for our website image carousel, as well as pamphlets and an accompanying libguide that go into more detail about the program and give our users instructions on how to access and download these ebooks.

ebook dda pilot poster advertisement

After struggling to coming up with an interesting, non-cheesy way to visually represent ebooks, I found the photo above on Flicker, and thanks to its creator Johan Larsson’s generous CC 2.0 Attribution license, I was able to build a design around it. I cut out most of the background, layered it on a black background and used Cicle font to create a slogan that is (I hope) intriguing but still meaningful. I decided against including a QR code because previous efforts at including them in signs for my library showed that none of the students were using them. The posters will be placed on bulletin boards in various academic buildings around campus.

I then adapted the poster design to a smaller scale: our website’s image carousel:

ebook pilot image carousel slideThis slide links out to a libguide about the ebook pilot project. Created by my colleague, Alana Verminski, the libguide offers more detail about the program and gives detailed instructions for users to locate, access, and download or print portions of the ebooks. Alana also did a fantastic job of creating a tri-fold brochure about the ebook pilot project which we’re sharing at our library’s information desk for those who want to take away information about it.

Ebook Brochure Inside Ebook Brochure OutsideThe poster and image carousel slide were created using Photoshop and the tri-fold brochure was created using Word. For the original files of any of these designs, please email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Remixing Old Designs

Flyers & Advertisements, Library Signage

Last December I shared a sign I created for our reference desk advertising our library’s chat reference service and LibAnswers Knowledgebase. I love it when designs on our site get remixed and re-purposed. Erica DeFrain of Honey-Badger-Boolean fame switched up the sign’s layout, “fussed with the text,” and of course, changed colors to match her home institution. The result is below:

Ask us sign for the U of VTAwesome, Erica! If you’ve adapted any of the designs on our blog, let us know! We’d love to feature them here.

Grab Some Popcorn

Displays, Flyers & Advertisements

We recently moved our entire DVD collection out to the open stacks in our library. They used to be behind the circulation desk, and anyone who wanted to check out a movie had to look up a title and request it or browse through pages and pages of our DVD listings in a printed binder.

To celebrate our new browsable DVD collection, we toyed around with featuring librarian and library staff movie recommendations on the tops of the shelves and via social media. I came up with the posters below. They’re my less creative, i-can’t-use-illustrator-so-photoshop-will-suffice versions of these minimalist children’s book covers and re-imagined movie posters. I also threw in an advertisement for our library’s new Films on Demand Subscription, to go along with our movie emphasis.

Citizen KaneFilms on Demand Poster

I didn’t get a chance to brand the posters for our library, and ultimately, our library decided to go in a different direction with the publicity efforts. Even though these posters didn’t get used I thought they were still worth sharing in the event that someone else might use them or be inspired to great better versions!

Muriel's WeddingEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

If you’re interested in the Photoshop files of these posters, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Branding Your Library

Design Issues, Displays, Flyers & Advertisements, General Handouts & Brochures, Library Signage, Logos

We librarians tend to make a lot of help sheets and signage to assist patrons as they use our resources.  That’s really what Librarian Design Share is about, right?  But even with best intentions, we don’t always fully think about the way our publications as a whole look and feel to our patrons.

I think Librarian Design Share would be remiss if we didn’t talk standardizing the look of your library’s publications, or branding, if you will.  Brands can highlight something unique about your community (perhaps it’s near water or you’re known for an historical event), your library (maybe you have an awesome stained-glass window or a spiral staircase), or it can be based on something more abstract, like colors, shapes, or even text.  We based our library branding on the pretty rainbow of colors our bound journals make on the shelves.  Everyone has bound journals on their shelves, but there’s something about the color arrangement and the mass amount of them that make the way they look in our large, light-filled space memorable. Here’s our general publication header that can be copied to any document:

new brand

Whatever standardization you decide upon should happen across the board–from all the pieces of paper that a patron might see in your library to your web presence. This is our website’s look:

8-6-2013 12-10-59 PM

I thought my library was well on the way to doing this, but a quick audit of our documents online and on our slat wall exposed at least three previous brands that are still in use on our handouts.

old brands

Yikes, you know what my new project is…

Think about it terms of your favorite store: their shopping bags have the same look as their store signage as their website, right? So should our libraries.  It’s about making things more consistent in the minds of our users. More simply, it’s about showing our users that we care enough to keep things updated, neat, professional, and easy for them to digest.

If you have great examples of a branding campaign you’ve created and implemented at your library, we’d love to see them! Consider submitting them to our site and sharing them with your colleagues.