We’ve shared a lot of Canva designs on Librarian Design Share recently, but there are other easy-to-use graphic design sites with pre-made design elements like Piktochart that can help you create great looking posters and advertisements for your library. Kendall Hinesley, Liaison Library & Reference Coordinator at California State University Dominguez Hills, has created some wonderful marketing and outreach materials for her library’s new Co-Lab and Reference Services.
One-half of Librarian Design Share is headed to Knoxville, TN to present at the 2017 Library Collective Conference alongside Amanda VerMeulen (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) and Dan Vinson (Mount Mary University). I’m super excited to be presenting with these awesome folks, and wanted to be sure to share our presentation slides, handouts, and other resources with Librarian Design Share readers. The focus of the conference is “Make it Beautiful, Make it Useable” which was all the sell I needed to attend. The conference schedule looks amazing, and I’d encourage you to check it out.
Here’s the info about our session:
Enhanced by Design: Creating user-informed, aesthetically attractive projects for your library
In this session participants will learn how different visual materials can address user concerns uncovered through focus groups, surveys, and ethnographic studies. Products created from data gleaned through these methods aren’t inherently beautiful, but by applying aesthetic design principles to these projects we can create products where usability is enhanced by design.
What this session IS about: basic user research methods, applying basic aesthetic principles/theories to creating visual materials, design-decision making
What this session is NOT about: in-depth session on graphic design or aesthetic theory,
how to analyze user research data (no coding, no stats).
Some questions to think about before the session:
What is a problem you want to solve in your library?
What is a big picture question you have about your library/users/etc.?
You can check out our session slides below. It’s a mix of lightning style talks, discussion, activities, and Q&A. We hope the session will be interactive and fun, and we’re looking forward to learning from people who attend.
We also have a number of resources we’re sharing with participants, including:
- This fantastic LibGuide Amanda put together.
- Design Best Practices
- User Research Methods Glossary
- User Research Methods Chart
- From Text to Graphics Handout
You can also find all of the designs highlighted in this presentation on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive in the Enhanced by Design Presentation 2017 folder. If you’ll be at The Library Collective Conference too, stop by and say hello!
Today’s post is a little different in that we’re not just sharing a finished design, but showing and describing a design revision. This submission comes to us from Brittany Iverson, Learning & Research Services Librarian at Montana State University. A walkstation was recently added to the Library Commons, and Brittany was asked to create an infographic with how-to-use instructions and the benefits of walking while working. Here is the first draft of her work:
My library is in the midst of redesigning a number of things, and chief among them are building signs. Directional and informational signs are out of date in need dire need of a cohesive redesign, so I’m taking inspiration from today’s featured design by librarian Lina Rinh. Although currently at North Lake College, Lina designed the following endcap signs for the Hampton-Illinois Branch of the Dallas Public Library using Canva.
All libraries have rules and policies; it’s how we maintain a sort of organized chaos at our dynamic, community-serving organizations. However, expressing those rules to library users can present a bit of a public relations challenge: We want to be friendly, yet firm; accommodating, but not so laissez-faire that we no longer have a purpose and mission. We often communicate our library’s policies through some sort of sign or poster, but are we thinking about the tone we are setting with the design of those posters? Our message might be saying one thing, but the way it’s visually displayed and organized may be communicating a very different meaning.
If your library’s reference collection is anything like ours, it’s likely:
- full of fantastic info that makes librarians drool
My fantastic colleague, Amanda VerMeulen, recently created a series of shelf signs to try to draw attention to our in-need-of-more-than-a-little-love reference collection.
There are so many different ways in which libraries offer reference and research assistance, but it can often be a challenge to make sure that the people in our communities know about them all. Alex Ferguson, Reference Assistant at the Texas Tech Law Library created an all-in-one advertisement for all of the library’s reference help services.
It’s that time of year y’all. We’re desperately holding on to our summers when we know that in just a few weeks we’ll be deep in orientations, classes, workshops, and meetings. The important thing is that we’re not there YET and we still have some time to get in some great design projects, like today’s submission.
Dan Vinson, Coordinator of User Services and Library Assessment at Mount Mary University recently created some simple, easy-to-read, and attractive signs for the Haggerty Library & Learning Commons stacks. They’ve totally inspired me to start a similar project at my own library.
For those of us in academic libraries, it’s that time of year again: Finals Week (or impending Finals Doom, depending on who you ask). All of our laptops are checked out, extension cords line the walkways, and students begin appearing more and more disheveled as the week progresses. Our patrons are less interested in research help (all those papers were due last week!) and more interested in the amount of coffee needed to power through an all-night study session.
One thing that often changes during this time of year are our hours of operation. Extended hours during finals week, fewer open hours immediately afterward–all of these changes require eye-catching, easy-to-scan signage. Here are a few great signage submissions advertising library hours.
Here’s what Edita had to say about her hours signage:
I used Canva for all of these and none of them utilize any of their pay-per-use graphics. Some of the images used were our own, most of them are under creative commons licenses. I’m well-versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Publisher but Canva is really handy to use because of all the templates, filters, fonts, and graphic elements that are readily available. Plus there’s a mobile version available so if I’m out at a conference with my iPad and realize I forgot to get a promo image out, I can throw one together really quick!
Sometimes our library’s operating schedule can get a bit complicated, which means our signage often suffers from too much information all at once.
Jonas Lamb, Public Services Librarian at the University of Alaska-Southeast’s Egan Library, recently revamped his library’s hours signage using Photoshop. Here’s the old version, which, as Jonas mentions, “often got over complicated with intersession and holiday exceptions.”
You can see that the new versions follow a nice template with variations in color for different times of year. It’s a great way to highlight changes in hours while still maintaining a steady look and feel.
I’d reached my wit’s end with library signage designed using Word, Publisher, PPT, etc and finally taught myself enough Photoshop to put something visually simple to refresh our existing signage. Around the same time we began using 4×6 acrylic table top-6 sided sign holders and an 80” digital display so I had an opportunity to re-use elements of the new design into a variety of sizes and layouts, subtracting text elements where appropriate.
What are your solutions to advertising modified hours of operation? Do you have other signage you’d like to share? Or better yet, signage you want to change but aren’t sure how it can be improved? Let us know!
PDF and JPEG versions of Edita’s Canva signs are available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive, as are Jonas’ original Photoshop files. As always, resuse designs responsibly!