Academic and school librarians are finally beginning to settle into the fall semester, and many of us are able to relax (or just stop running in circles) due to the efforts we put in during the summer to prepare for this school year. Joanna Hare, a Subject Librarian at the Run Run Shaw Library at the City University of Hong Kong, recently updated a guide to assist students in using the library.
Selling adult reading programs can be a challenge. The demands of family, work, and day-to-day life can easily overpower leisure time that might be spent on reading, and finding the right marketing message to reach this busy audience can be tricky. Earlier this month we received a beautiful and thoughtful design submission from Stephanie Huff, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Wichita Public Library. Her poster and brochure designs highlight this year’s theme for WPL’s Adult Winter Reading Program, “Tour de Wichita: a reading journey,” which incorporates city sites and attractions. It’s a stellar example of community outreach and attractive design.
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.
Big thanks to Rebecca Seipp, Outreach & Humanities Liaison Librarian at the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University, for being one of our first Back-to-School design features. Rebecca’s sharing the “Guides to the Library” brochures for students and alumni that she recently revised. These kinds of publications are so tough to pull together. Information changes constantly, and it’s always a balancing act between including information that you think will be helpful and not bombarding people with too much text. I think Rebecca strikes a fantastic balance.
Here’s Rebecca talking about her work on these brochures:
This summer I updated our alumnae and student guides at the library. Over the past few years information was continually added to these guides without any redesign. Predictably, that resulted in guides that were dated and dense. My goals for the new guides were twofold: to create a clean look and to include just enough information to highlight our services and keep people interested. All the images were taken by university marketing and the primary colors are from the university’s color palette. Both guides were created in Photoshop and are designed to be printed front/back and folded vertically. You’ll notice that the student guide has text on the inside middle – since it’s only one page when folded the text is still easy to read and it adds an unexpected design element.
You can see that the guides for alumni are targeted to their specific population and make nice use of a stunning shot of the library and a calm color palette.
Rebecca has shared the original Photoshop files for these brochures on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder. She just has two notes about the files:
The Hollins University logo was removed from the back side of the alumnae guide and replaced with text that says “your logo here.”
When creating the student guide I accidentally flattened the back that has the staff pictures – oops! So what I did is created the boxes and text in the boxes as separate layers and then just have the images grouped together as one layer. So the bones will still be there, but there won’t be any guides for the size of images and text boxes for librarian info.
Thanks for the heads up, Rebecca, and thanks for sharing!
We recently had some changes in our library, which precipitated a change in the General Info sheet that we have on our desk. Originally, I was just going to update the information, but it seemed like a good time to mix up the design too, as we haven’t in over two years.
Here’s the old design, heavy with institutional colors, a traditional image, and lots of text:
And here’s the newer version with lots of white space and an image of our library that better represents our focus here (i.e., not solely books or even the physical world):
So, yes, most of the text is still present, but I feel like it has more room to “breathe” with more white space. I’ve retained our brand and color scheme, but simplified the design, and I’m a lot happier with the look.
Do you periodically update the look of publications in your library? If you’ve done any of this lately, we’d love to see some before and afters!
If you are interested in the MS Publisher version of this design, contact April.
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.
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:
This 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.
The 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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
Our goal here at Librarian Design Share is to be able to inspire you with creative ideas so that you can take them back and modify them for your own use in your library. David McClure, Head of Research and Curriculum Services at the Wiener-Rogers Law Library at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, had done just this, and we’re so impressed with the results.
Here is David’s description of the design process:
For some time, our library had considered various ways to share information on legal research apps with our students and faculty. While reviewing the ALL-SIS Task Force on Library Marketing & Outreach’s Academic Law Library Marketing & Outreach Toolkit, I ran across a reference to the Librarian Design Share blog. The January 23, 2013, post on “Advertising a Tablet Page” provided the creative spark (and the template) to make the handout a reality. We converted the template from Publisher to Pages format, and we increased the image size to create a full-page handout.
Special thanks to April Aultman Becker and the Librarian Design Share blog for sharing the Publisher template with us. Library research assistants Jessica Perlick, Elizabeth Ellison, and Andrew Stagg also contributed their excellent research and design skills, along with their creativity and enthusiasm, to the project.
A PDF version of the handout is available for download through the Scholarly Commons @ UNLV Law at http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/refdeskguides/8. For the Pages version, please contact David McClure (firstname.lastname@example.org).
David mentioned that this was his first project with Pages and that he enjoyed the program’s flexibility when it came to manipulating images. Anyone else out there using Pages? We’d love to see!
We’ve all done it. At some point in our librarian careers, we’ve all created The Handout. It’s swimming in text, full of links and lists of resources or background information. Maybe we were really busy that day and just needed to get something printed out quickly. Maybe we couldn’t think of a good way to make our handout look good. Maybe we just needed a little inspiration.
[This is a handout from a] library training session that I put together using Apple’s Pages product and associated template. However, there’s some modifications that I was able to do, in particular combining some of the stock Microsoft photographs as well as some screenshots from the Google Android developers platform. I also tweaked the colors a bit to enhance and complement the stock photography, combining the thought that this is interesting information, but at the same time something to be seriously planned through.
For the original Pages files, email Tony Bandy.