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Librarian Design Share

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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.

 

 

Inspired By the Movies: Wes Anderson Makes All Slides Better

ACRL 2015 was amazing, folks. There were so many brilliant, passionate, friendly librarians in one amazing city that I thought my head might explode. Two of those rad librarians were my co-presenters, April Aultman Becker (also co-creator of Librarian Design Share) and Abe Korah. On Friday afternoon we presented a panel on facilitating inquiry throughout the research process and helping students develop thoughtful questions.

These are our slides.

As we were planning our presentation, April and I joked to Abe that we were going to model our slides on a Wes Anderson movie. We’re big fans of his quirky visual style and thought it might be an appropriate look and feel for Portland.

Thanks to April’s fast-as-lightning investi-googling skills, we ran into this fantastic Wes Anderson Color Palettes Tumblr and decided to use the color scheme from Moonrise Kingdom.

Moonrise Kingdom Color PaletteWe also decided to lift an additional color from Suzy’s dress, which gave us some pink for highlights and a fun background for some of our slides.

Suzy's amazing pink dressThe fonts we used were Josefin Sans and Damion, both of which are available as Google Fonts (JS | D) as well as free desktop downloads (JS | D), which is a must if you want to coordinate your handout with your slides (which you know we did).

Our icons (credited on the last slide) come from the always amazing Noun Project, and were just modified according to our color scheme using Adobe Photoshop. The slides themselves were created in Google Slides.

You can access the published version of our Google Slides above, but if you’re interested in adapting them, download them from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Presentation Folder.

Making an Impact with your Slide Deck

With many of us in academic libraries heading out to Portland today and tomorrow for ACRL 2015, it’s a good time to talk a little about what makes a good slide deck. Today’s submission is an example of a presentation with

  • clean lines,
  • a nice cohesive color scheme,
  • great statement photographs,
  • clear, attractive font choices, and
  • good use of text alignment for emphasis and impact.

This slide deck is courtesy of Alana Verminski, Collection Development Librarian at the University of Vermont Libraries and Kelly Blanchat, Electronic Resources Librarian at Queens College from their 2015 ER&L conference presentation:


We created the slides using Google Slides and most of the images were made using Google Draw. All the fonts are from Google Fonts. Kelly did some work in Photoshop to tweak a few of the images and the spreadsheet used in slide 10 was developed in Excel. Our presentation addressed many of the challenges (new) electronic resources librarians face when starting or transitioning into a new role. We focused on workflows and how revamping and developing new processes can facilitate the building of a new professional identity and gaining respect from colleagues.

You can contact Alana or Kelly for more information about their fantastic slides.

No Original Ideas

I’m pretty sure that there are no original ideas out there anymore.  I regularly apply this philosophy to designs I create.  When I start a new project, I find something that is inspiring, and then try to adapt the design (maybe just the colors, or shapes, or fonts) to my needs.  For example, I recently ran across the Scopus blog while preparing a presentation about the H-Index.

01-scopus-blog

I found the header of the blog to be modern and beautiful, and I wanted to try to recreate it.  However, with limited time, I couldn’t pull it off (you know, I had to focus on the content more than the design). Instead, I used my Colorzilla tool to capture the colors and I used the idea of the circles and connecting lines to illustrate the concept of “H-Index and Beyond,” as you can see below.  To further the modern feel of the presentation, I used the font, Multicolore, which you can download here (and here’s a little trick that Veronica just taught me about SlideShare: to avoid losing your non-standard fonts, save your document as a PDF before uploading to the site!).

I wouldn’t say that this is the best presentation I’ve ever created, and I still regret not being able to create the window-paned orbits like Scopus made, but I feel like it borrows from the original design without plagiarizing it.

You can find the original file here to download on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder.  Feel free to modify the PowerPoint for your own use, and if you create something cool, let us know!  We love to feature updates of designs here on the blog.

Commercial Appeal

You know that time at the beginning of a class where students are shuffling in, uncomfortably finding seats, messing with their phones, and avoiding eye contact with the instructor? I seem to have 5-10 minutes of this time at every session, and I realized that I should take advantage of this captive audience.  Always thinking of ways to promote the library’s services, I made a library commercial.

It’s not nearly as fancy as it seems…I just made a PowerPoint (based on the format of this presentation) that is eye-catching, informative, and spurs some conversation beyond the awkward greeting that I extend to the students.  I have the presentation scrolling as students arrive and then again as they leave.  We’ve even started running the commercial at the TV near our Information Desk during the day.

I think there are lots of ways to expand on this idea.  You could add sound, market different services to different patrons, turn it into web slides, make it longer or more interactive…but this is a start.  If you are interested in modifying the original PowerPoint file for your own library, you can access it on Librarian Design Share’s Google Drive.

 

For the Love of Icons

Last month April and I presented at the 2014 Library Instruction West Conference in amazing Portland, Oregon. Our session was on effective methods for teaching “experienced researchers” (faculty, professionals, grad students, thesis writers, etc.), but our slide deck was ALL ABOUT THE ICONS (as you can see). We drew heavily from public domain and CC-licensed icons available from The Noun Project, a fantastic repository of “the world’s visual language” in symbols and icons.

You can access this presentation on Librarian Design Share’s Google Drive, or better yet, take a look at The Noun Project today! Trust me: You will find the icon you need.

Good Design Doesn’t Happen Alone

 

On Saturday I gave a short talk at the ACRL Marketing Discussion Forum at ALA Midwinter. The whole presentation, as you can tell from the title slide, was about using the people and communities around you to help you create better, more engaging visual materials for library marketing and outreach efforts. It may have been cold enough in Philly to make me wish I was in Texas in July, but the conversation at our discussion was lively and warm! I had a blast. Big thanks to Katy Kelly and Jessica Hagman for inviting me to participate, and I hope y’all enjoy the slides.

This presentation was created using Photoshop. Images were saved as PNG files and layered onto a Google Slideshow. For any of the original Photoshop files, email me, Veronica.

Video Slidedeck Theme

Earlier this month I presented at the Brick & Click Academic Libraries Symposium on a student-led library video project I started at St. Mary’s. This post is not about that project. But it is about slidedecks and how, when given the opportunity to make things easy, I make things more difficult for myself. BECAUSE THAT’S THE KIND OF GAL I AM.

I wanted a fun video-related theme running through my presentation slides and decided to upcycle a poster I had originally created to publicize our library’s new Films on Demand subscription. I changed around some fonts (using Arvo and Sofia Pro Light), added some movie-related icons and other graphic elements through-out and BLAM-O, a new template was born. It was really more of a time-consuming why-did-I-decide-to-do-this creation rather than a spontaneous design, but I’m happy with the final project and hoping that by sharing it I can save some people some time.

I’ll end with a brief exchange I had with my husband about this slidedeck:

ME: Check out my presentation slides!!!!!
HIM: Cool. I didn’t know Powerpoint had that theme.
ME: It doesn’t. I made my own theme.
HIM: Of course you did. *head pat*

You can check out the embedded slidedeck through Slideshare, or email me, Veronica, for the original PP slides and Photoshop layout.

 

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.
Picture1
You never know where inspiration will strike…or pop!
If you are interested in the original PowerPoint file, contact me.

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