Library informational handouts and brochures–the kind we give away at orientations, fairs, and workshops–can easily suffer from the classic librarian pitfall: TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Striking the right balance between needed information and visual interest is a challenge. Lindsay Davis, librarian at the Los Banos Campus Library at Merced College has created informational flyers for students and faculty that touch on all the library “highlights,” those crucial services and bits of information that will make the most impact with library users.
Here’s Lindsay discussing her design:
This is the beginning of my third academic year as the Los Banos Campus Librarian of Merced College, a community college located in California’s Central Valley. When I give an instructional session, I usually give out a handout that covers basic library information printed in black and white on muted yellow card stock (we only have a few color options through duplication services). I also have them available in the Library and in select spots around campus, such as with the academic counselors and at the Student Services office.This year, I decided that since I don’t really do many handouts anyway, printing in color wouldn’t be so terrible after all. However, the old handout, which I did through Microsoft Publisher, needed to be jazzed up for color printing.
I started from a pre-made layout in Canva and customized it by uploading free vector icons and license-free images. I normally don’t pay for special elements in Canva, but there were a couple of elements I really wanted. They are only $1 each, and, in all, the handout cost just $2 to get it to look the way I wanted it. The handout is double-sided, and I ordered half-sheet sized copies on white card stock.
I also made a matching handout for our faculty. Including me, there are about 65 full-time and part-time faculty members on our campus, so it’s not too much of an expense to print nice handouts for the group. Because I used a few more of Canva’s design elements than in the student version, this design was $4. I ordered full-sized prints on white card stock for the faculty version and put them in all of the faculty mailboxes. I actually got a nice email from a math professor about the new handout. She even put it on her office door!
She’s done a wonderful job using Canva to create an information flyer template that can be easily modified for different audiences and events. The PDF versions of these flyers are available in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.