Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives


February 2013

Evolution of a Handout

Recently a coworker asked if I could help revise a handout she made.  Her handout was fine and the information was good, but she was looking for a more graphical representation.  She also didn’t like that the handout spanned two pages:


While we were discussing the updates needed, she mentioned that she really likes the way that Consumer Reports formats their product comparisons.  Since this is a handout comparing different tools for note taking, I tried to mimic their style and came up with this:

tools for notetaking2

I pared down some of the information to fit it to one page and kept the logos.  But it still wasn’t quite right.  I couldn’t get the chart to size like I wanted it to in Word, so I copied it to Publisher, which allowed me to customize my colors and stretch the margins for spacing so that the chart was more eye-catching and easier to read:

tools for notetaking3

How do you guys feel about handouts–should they be one-page only?

For the Publisher file of this document, contact April Aultman Becker.

Taking Advantage of Cover Art

Book Club AdvertisementSometimes the image you have to work with is so attractive that it should be the center piece of your flyer or event advertisement. I think the cover art and color scheme for The Dog Stars by Peter Heller is just beautiful. The easiest thing for me to do was just include a picture of the book! I think the advertisement is brief and graphic and gets the job done. The font is 5 Minutes from

For the original Photoshop files, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

An Icon for Library Mobile Apps

Library, bookstackFrom Michael Schofield, at the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center at Nova Southeastern University:

Our university has an iOS and Android app called iShark. So, the library originally had zero presence within that hub, which essentially was linked out to the websites for Athletics and Dining and Parking, etc.(even though ours was the only responsive website university-wide [but I digress …]). Eventually, things came together and I had to create a graphic that was immediately identifiable as a button smaller than the average thumb. This is what I did. I figured that since we had no need to include our library’s full name, this graphic is widely applicable and I wanted to share.

Thanks for sharing your design, Michael. This is a great graphic for anyone looking for a mobile icon for their library. For the original Photoshop file, email Michael Schofield.


Attack of Too Much Information: Workshop Advertisements

EndNote Workshop FlyerEndNote-workshop-sliderThis was an email and web flyer created to advertise our library’s upcoming EndNote workshop series. I always struggle with how much info to put on a flyer. I obviously want to give the pertinent details about an event, but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by text. I always try to keep it graphic and balance out chunks of texts by changing up font sizes and colors when possible. The ad for our website (second image) left out a lot of details and just linked to our library’s blog post. I like it a lot more! It’s just so much cleaner.

How do you balance out event info on a flyers while still maintaining a visually appealing ad?

For the original Photoshop files, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Oh No You Didn’t Just LOLCat Us

U help make liberry site student friendleeeeeDespite years of resistance, I LOLcat-ted. I blame it on the abundance of Creative Commons licensed photos of cats and computers on Flickr. Using Photoshop’s always handy magnetic lasso tool, I cut Mr. Kitty out of his cute photo and used him to promote our library’s call for website usability testing volunteers. The font is Impact and the photo is from Flickr user mastrobiggo.

For the Photoshop file of this slide, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Design Aids: Picking the Right Palette

Picking colors is hard, ya’ll. Whenever I’m creating visual materials for my library I often spend way too much time trying to find colors that are interesting but not overwhelming, and more importantly, look good together. Before I know it I’ve spent the the better part of an hour deciding on just the right shades of grey and orange. It’s a problem.

Two web-based tools I often turn to in the pursuit of color perfection are COLOURLovers and Colorzilla.


COLOURLovers is a great source for interesting palettes, patterns and just plain pretty colors. For the more design adventurous, you can also create your own patterns on this site or download shapes to create new patterns in Photoshop or Illustrator.


Colorzilla is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. It basically gives you a Photoshop-like color picker that you can use with anything you see online. Browsing the web and run across the perfect shade of green? Use Colorzilla and pick it! You can than use that color just about anywhere. Colorzilla also comes with a CSS generator, which I have yet to use, but seems really handy for developing gradients and color shading on websites. I use Colorzilla on an almost daily basis and it has been an invaluable tool for me as I continue to design and re-design my library’s website.

What are your favorite color-related design aids?

Promoting Classes

class offerings

Sometimes the most basic information can be the hardest thing to represent graphically. This flyer was created to promote our regular library class offerings.  Like a lot of the pieces I make, I utilized more than one Microsoft Office program.  I created the chart in Word because I prefer it over Excel for building charts with a bunch of text, and then I copied the chart to a Publisher document so that I could play with the colors, lines, and layer the images, which is way easier to do in Publisher than Word.  I’m not going to lie; it took me forever to decide on the colors and to fit all that I wanted to say in the limited space to make it a half-page document (color printer guilt), but now that it’s done, we can revise and reuse it each semester.

If you are interested in the Publisher file for this document, contact April Aultman Becker.

Share the Printing Love this Valentine’s Day

Your Computers and Our Printers have a newfound connection.

Like us on Facebook. It makes cents! Like Foley Center Library on Facebook through Valentine's Day and earn 25 cents in your Pharos printing account.These cheerful Valentine’s Day themed designs come to us from Zoe Mayhook at the Foley Center Library at Gonzaga University who created these slides for her library’s digital display.

The first is a slide for our online print service. Students are now able to print from their laptops on to our computers. The concept: anything is eye-catching when you add googly eyes. The second was a slide I created for our Facebook promotion. If students liked us on Facebook, we put .25 cents on their print account.

I am a novice library ad designer (no real prior experience), so I look forward to sharing my ideas and seeing what other people are doing!

Thanks for the submission, Zoe! We totally agree about googly eyes, by the way.

For the original Powerpoint slides, email Zoe Mayhook.

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