Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives


Design Aids

Librarian Design Share Goes to Houston

Next week April and I are returning to Houston (a city we both love and called home for many years) next week to present at the Texas Library Association 2016 Annual Conference. We’ll be discussing ways in which libraries can adopt better visual design practices to improve communication with library users, and of course, doing a brief plug for Librarian Design Share. If you are planning on attending, or just find yourself in Houston, we’d love to see you. If you can’t make it, we’re sharing our presentation slides below.

Texas Library Association 2016 Annual Conference
Improving Communication through Visual Design
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
3:00 – 3:50 pm

Every time a librarian crafts an event poster, develops signage, creates instructional handouts, or drafts Web advertisements, a design decision is made. The co-creators of Librarian Design Share will empower attendees with the basic principles, processes, and tools necessary to develop visual materials that enhance relationships with users. April Aultman Becker, Sul Ross State University; and Veronica Arellano Douglas, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.



Pinterest Inspiration

April and I make no secret of the fact that we are always on the hunt for design inspiration. Whether it be an interesting magazine ad, quirky product packaging, or sweet wrapping paper, no web or print graphic element escapes our notice. It’s no surprise then, that Pinterest is a never-ending blackhole for us. As a source of font, color, and style inspiration it’s unparalleled, and also a dangerous way to spend several hours in pursuit of the right idea for our next button/flyer/poster/display/etc.

Continue reading “Pinterest Inspiration”

Where are all my fonts?!?!?

Take a break from your Friday procrastiworking to join me as I lament the loss of my entire custom font library!

Continue reading “Where are all my fonts?!?!?”

For the Font Lovers

We’re always on the hunt for unique and stylish fonts for our library marketing and outreach materials. Bored with my usual go-to fonts, I started digging around online and stumbled upon two great resources: The League of Moveable Type and Typewolf.

The League of Moveable Type

The League of Moveable Type is a collective of typeface designers who are making amazing fonts available under SIL’s Open Font License (a group clearly after librarians’ hearts). You can use these fonts for personal, organizational or commercial designs as long as you credit the original designer. You can read their entire Manifesto online, subscribe to their newsletter, follow their blog and browse available fonts. My favorite right now is Ostrich Sans.


Typewolf, curated by Jeremiah Shoaf, is a great source of font recommendations and typeface inspiration. He links to actual uses of different fonts on the web so that you can see them in practice, which is particularly helpful if you’re trying to decide on a font to use for a virtual project.

Happy font-hunting!

A Place for Color: Design Seeds

Design Seed Image

In my search for a nice color palette for a Library Instruction West slide deck, I came across the website Design Seeds via its amazing presence on Pinterest. The site is HEAVEN for anyone in search of color inspiration for a flyer, presentation, or larger outreach and marketing campaign. It’s the brainchild of designer Jessica Colaluca and I highly encourage you to check it out!

Have You Heard About ACRL_LMAO?

ACRL-LMAOHave you heard about ACRL_LMAO? There’s a new Library Marketing and Outreach Interest Group in ACRL spearheaded by Virginia Alexander and Adam Haigh that’s all about sharing successes, failures, ideas and questions related to outreach and marketing efforts in academic libraries.

You can connect with ACRL_LMAO in three different ways:

Some fantastic conversations are already happening, and I’m eager to find out what else this group is up to in the next few months.

Color Palettes From Your Favorite Images

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.

Making Your Library Promotion Pop

We’re all working to make our designs pop as librarians, but it’s probably rare that we actually sit back to consider the principles behind the designs we are making. However, just a couple of months ago, I was asked by the Medical Library Association to present on this topic.  So, I am posting the presentation as both a review of basic design and also as an inspiration for design, because it was (by far) the hardest part of making this presentation!

When you make a PowerPoint presentation about design, you want it, uh, designed well. I’m tired of the themes that PowerPoint has to offer, so I usually design my own when I can. While I didn’t come up with the title for this presentation, I did want to play off of it. “Making your Library Promotion Pop” conjures up many themes–popcorn, pop art, popsicles…  I tried them all unsuccessfully, until I came across an unlikely inspiration saved on an older flashdrive: a New Year’s Eve party invitation that I admired some time back and planned to recreate for my own use.  The fireworks and the colors are modern, graphic, and exciting and the elements of the invitation just kind of created the theme for me.
You never know where inspiration will strike…or pop!
If you are interested in the original PowerPoint file, contact me.

Design Aids: Sources for Great CC Images

So many of the designs I create have a great Creative Commons licensed photo at their core. These are my favorite sources for CC licensed images:

Flicker Logo
Flickr’s Advanced Search gives you the option to only search for CC-licensed content on Flickr and limit that subsection of to only content that can be modified, adapted, or built-upon. This is my go-to for great photographs. The Flickr Commons is also a great source of archival photos with no known copyright restrictions. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to use it yet, but it’s nice to know that it’s available!


morgueFile is a total Librarian Design Share inspiration. Artists contribute images and photographs to the site which can be downloaded and remixed (with credit to the creator) by other artists. There’s also the morgueFile portfolio section, which includes some copyrighted photos, but also lots of cc-licensed work.


Fotopedia has some truly spectacular photos. They’re not all CC-licensed, but quite a few are available to download, reuse, and remix.

What are your favorite sources for images?

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