Every once in a while something comes into your life and changes it forever. For my colleagues and I, that something was this 1″ button maker kit from American Button Making Machines. It’s been in action all year and there are no signs of our button-making obsession stopping anytime soon.

Set 1: Buttons for Library School Students


My colleagues were about to staff a table at the University of Maryland’s iSchool internship fair and I thought it might be nice create buttons as a way to lure in potential interns.

The amazing Char Booth created a 1″ button template and made it (along with several button designs) freely accessible via the Claremont Colleges Library Button Maker Instructions Libguide.


Using this template as a base, I designed all buttons in Adobe Illustrator. The colors are from Pantone’s Spring 2016 color palette, and the fonts used are: Capture it 2DowncomeLeague GothicOstrich SansFuturaShortcutNexa Rust (variations: Slab, Extras, Sans Block, Script), KnewaveChunk FiveBlackoutIntro Rust.


I tried to create buttons I thought would appeal to future librarians and fellow LIS nerds.

Set 2: New Student Buttons

button-varietyEach summer our incoming first year students visit campus for New Seahawk Day. It’s the usual register for classes, tour campus, and be bombarded with too information event most schools hold for new students. In the afternoon all students cycle through a resource fair, and you know the Library had a table at this event. In addition to info cards for new students (which will be featured in a post soon!), my colleague, Amanda VerMeulen and I created, you guessed it MOAR BUTTONS!!!!!

We tried to create buttons first years could wear to show off their St. Mary’s pride and their love for the library.

Amanda created that adorable book cart icon and had the brilliant idea to create a button that matched our “Date Due” book stickers highlighting the first day of classes. So cute! She also developed a wonderfully inclusive “I belong” button that I want to wear every day.



Given our proximity to the St. Mary’s River and our students’ insane love of all water sports, I thought creating a sailboat-esque library button might be fun, too. Then of course there’s the usual suspect: I Love My Library in different fonts, styles, and colors.


Set 3: Buttons to Highlight New Student Common Reading


Amanda is very involved in our upcoming new student orientation week planning, which will include opportunities for students to read and discuss poetry by Lucille Clifton, who was a distinguished professor of humanities at St. Mary’s. To highlight their upcoming common reading and the library’s involvement in orientation, Amanda created these beautiful buttons featuring lines from some of her favorite Lucille Clifton poems.


All buttons were created using Adobe Illustrator and all original files are all available for you to download and edit via the Librarian Design Share Google Drive. That said, Amanda created a very useful 1″ button template that clearly demarcates the button face and bleed edges. It’s been a life-saver for me, and I hope it helps you as well. There are also some nice non-branded versions of our new student buttons available too.

Have you created buttons for your library community you’d like to share with others? If so, we’d love to feature them on Librarian Design Share!