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Library Signage

Seasonal Signage

It’s nearly that time of the year again! School and academic librarians, your libraries are about to get a lot busier, and filled with those beginning-of-the-semester questions (Where can I get coffee? How do I print? Do you have my textbook?). For public librarians, it’s time to wave goodbye to summer programming and embrace the fall.

Whatever type of library you are in, this is the perfect season for signage. This call for submissions is focused on designs that signal change – a new beginning and the start of something good.

So whether you’re welcoming new or returning students, or just saying hello to the fall season, send us your signs! If you haven’t made any yet, don’t worry! We’ll be featuring these posts through the end of August.

Photo of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in the fall

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Featured post

Sign Design: Branding through Consistency

Determining how to attract attention to signs can be a struggle.  Each sign is carefully crafted to draw the community’s attention to a particular announcement, but when there are too many signs the effect may be the opposite.

Linda Kramer of the Martin Luther College Library in New Ulm, Minnesota navigated this predicament by varying sign messages and colors but maintaining a simple, consistent design.  She submitted a series of Canva signs that she made when she realized that students weren’t aware of the names or locations of library services.  She used anecdotal evidence to determine what to highlight.

 

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Linda says,

My goal was to allow each sign to be read in two ways: using all of the words, or using just the white words. Because one iteration of each sign was placed on digital signs around campus, the language needed to be easily read in a few seconds while students are walking past the signs. It was fun to try to come up with wording that could be read in both ways, and I think it worked well, except for a couple where the punctuation got in the way.

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In describing the project, Linda noted that she rotated the signs on digital displays around campus, hoping that the alternating colors would catch the eye and the consistent style would be associated with the library.

You can download all twelve PNG posters from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive, and you can contact Linda with any design-related questions.

Signs About Sound

A couple of weeks ago we asked for submissions about sound, and you delivered! We received three sound-specific submissions, all of which take a different design approach. It’s worth noting that in spite of these differences, the first two of our featured submissions make use of the red, yellow, green color scheme to denote acceptable noise levels within the library. The last, designed for digital signage, uses large eye-catching text and simple icons to get the message across.

The first submission is from Brenda Sevigny-Killen at the Bennett D. Katz Library – University of Maine at Augusta.

Sign that reads "Silent Zone" in a library.

Brenda had this to say about her signs:

After our library greatly deaccessioned our reference materials, we opened up space for collaborative study areas with rolling whiteboards, chairs & tables, and comfort seating.  To encourage collaborative use of this new space, staff designed signs to promote the new area.  We also designed a sign for the quiet area since the multiple tables for 6 falsely encouraged noisy collaboration. There are times when we have to redirect groups to the collaborative zone so this space remains sacred for silent study. This project has been hugely successful and we now find we need much more collaborative space as more and more students find sanctity and camaraderie within the library walls.  Another happy side effect is getting to know more of our students and subtly infusing a atmosphere of support, care, and staff dedication which we hope contributes to their success.

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Brenda’s posters were designed in Publisher and are available in our Google Drive.

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Erin McCoy at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Massachusetts submitted designs that she created in Canva.

I was inspired by a recent conversation on a list serve to take a look at signs for “sound expectations” – I like the one in the google drive, so I decided to riff on it in Canva for those of us without Adobes or Publisher skills.

Our library is one big room, that is square, so it’s hard to place signage and to communicate where the different zones are, so we’ll see how this goes!

 

 

Kudos to Erin for tackling the challenge of signage for the one-room library layout! You can find the complete set of Erin’s signage on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.

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Our final submission is from Lauri Miller at the Paul & Harriett Mack Library in Bethlehem, PA. Lauri created her sign through Google Slides and used icons from one of my favorite resources, The Noun Project.

Here is my submission about sound levels in the library. I created it in Google Slides which feeds the digital sign in our lobby. The sign flips between slides, so I tried to keep it brief, understandable, and eye catching the foot traffic in and out of the library.  The cell phone icon is by Creative Stall, and the earbud icon is by Erman Tutan. Both are from nounproject.com.

cell phones on silent signage

Thanks to Brenda, Erin, and Lauri for their submissions. Remember, you can submit your own work to feature or request feedback at any time. All submitted work will be published on this site under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Designing Dewey

Today’s submission is from Ashley Schmidt, who designed these library shelf endcaps while employed at Fort Worth Library. Here’s Ashley in her own words:

Continue reading “Designing Dewey”

When a Floor Plan is More Than a Floor Plan

Our libraries all likely have floorplans, maps, and wayfinding signage that we hope will help people get where they need to go once they’re in our building. Some of our libraries have that information online as well. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how some people might need or want to familiarize themselves with a space before entering it. They might be a person with anxiety, neuro-atypical, or someone with sensory sensitivities. As the parent of a 5 year old with sensory sensitivities that feed his anxiety, I like being able to show him photos and maps of new places, or even just describing what we will encounter in a space before we get there. It has a calming effect for both of us: He has a better sense of what he’ll see and experience in a new space, and I know that he will be less scared and anxious.

Continue reading “When a Floor Plan is More Than a Floor Plan”

What You Can Do With Piktochart

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.

Continue reading “What You Can Do With Piktochart”

Enhanced by Design – Presentation & Handouts

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:

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!

How a Design is Revised

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:

Continue reading “How a Design is Revised”

Library Signage: Endcap Designs

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.

Continue reading “Library Signage: Endcap Designs”

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