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Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives

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photoshop

Advertising Hours

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.

Edita Sicken, Instruction and Access Services Librarian at Manchester University’s Funderburg Library, used Canva to create the her library’s changing hours signage.

Extended Hours Signage

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!

Fall Break Hours Signage Spring Break Hours Signage

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.”

Egan Library Old Signage

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.

Egan Library Summer Hours
Here’s Jonas’ talking about this new signage:

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.

Egan Library Spring Hours

Egan Library Regular Hours

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!

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MOAR ACRL Posters — This is the end, folks

April and I are wrapping up our series on stellar conference posters today with some wonderful submissions. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. It’s such a tricky medium, and I think the more examples we can see of good work, the better the quality of posters at professional conferences will become.

Data Management and Broader Impacts: A Holistic ApproachTitle: Data Management and Broader Impacts: A Holistic Approach
Presenter: Megan N. O’Donnell, Scholarly Communications and Science & Technology Librarian, Iowa State University Library

Megan’s poster is available via the Digital Repository at Iowa State University. Here’s what she had to share about her design process:

I wanted my poster to be bold, easy to understand, and fun. Since the topic was likely to be unfamiliar to some of the conference attendees, I also needed to accommodate some wordy bits for context. The layout was the most time consuming part – I had everything I wanted pretty early but getting it all to fit and look good took a long time. The wordy bits took up more room than expected but that’s partly because they were in 45 point font as I wanted it to be readable at a distance. This meant losing some valuable space but it was needed. I did save some time by using icons from Microsoft and Icons8.com though I did tweak, combine, and recolor everything on the poster because I was sticking to a limited color pallet. I guess the last thing I should mention is that this is a BIG poster. It measures at 7.5 by 3.5 feet. I did this on purpose. I like to maximize the space I’m given, but it also meant it was going to be expensive to print and a pain to travel with. In the end I decided to pay extra to have it printed on “polyfab” which is a thin vinyl like fabric that can be folded up and packed in a suitcase. My printing choices, while expensive, were worth it. The size of the poster was perfect –everything was readable–and the polyfab, while not without some quirks, was fantastic.

Growing a Sustainable Workshop Series

Title: Growing a Sustainable Workshop Series
Presenters: Chantelle Swaren, Assessment & Outreach Librarian and Nicole Tekulve, Team Lead, Information Commons, The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Chantelle and Nicole had buttons, y’all. BUTTONS!!!!! Here’s Chantelle talking about their design process:

Nicole started out sketching her idea for the poster in PowerPoint since she is most comfortable working in that program. After the design direction was established, Chantelle built the working file in Photoshop for more design flexibility and to ensure high-quality output.

We wanted to give a visual nod to the ACRL theme of sustainability while keeping the poster as crisp and readable as possible. To that end, we discarded photos and intricate images in favor of simple icons and limited text. We converted all images and other design elements to fall within our established palette: Pantone 158C, 575C, and white. Many of our images came from openclipart.org and pixabay.com which are great resources for icons and other images.

Throughout the process, we sought input from friends and colleagues, including design help  from Nicole’s partner who runs the silkscreen and design business Grand Palace. If you are working on a poster, our advice is to invite other people to critique your work; it usually improves the final product! After you’ve looked at the same design forever it helps to have a fresh set of eyes suggest minor tweaks (as an example- that’s how we ended up adding the green bar within our poster’s header, which helps to anchor the title).

We decided to print with PosterPresentations.com and chose the SuperSaver Student Special option – and we were thrilled with the quality. We resized our design to best fit the canvas-size offered;  we adjusted the content to maintain fidelity with our original design, and the new dimensions allowed us to maximize the use of white space.

ButtonsChantelle was kind enough to share the original Photoshop file of their poster, which is now available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.

 

 

 

 

 

dancingdogsTitle: Dancing, Dogs, and Disco Balls: Sustaining a happy library outreach community
Presenters: Kathy Anders, Graduate Studies Librarian, Stephanie Graves, Director of Learning and Outreach, Elizabeth German, Instructional Design Librarian, Texas A&M University Libraries

Elizabeth German describes how the librarians from Texas A&M created their poster (and how it almost looked like a disco floor!):

The design process really started with the content. We had a couple brainstorming meetings drawing out ideas for what we wanted and we knew that we wanted to have a “happy” poster that embodied the same spirit of our outreach program.  At one point we thought about replicating a disco floor with the different squares being different sections of our poster. But things didn’t start taking shape until we had written everything that we wanted to be on the poster and then we tried to fit it into our design ideas, the dance floor just wasn’t big enough. The idea of a dance pattern just came to me in the middle of the night and we really liked the idea of the movement it implied. Again conceptually, we thought the different points might be inside the shoes of the dance pattern but once we were working with the content, it wasn’t going to work. In the end, I kept fiddling with the content and arrived at this design.

In terms of technology, we went old school and used PowerPoint. It’s a classic and has staying power for a reason. I used Photoshop to manipulate the photos. We don’t have administrative access on our computers, so if you want to install a font you have to send in a help desk ticket every time. I’ve gotten around that (with permission!) by having them install SkyFonts. It’s software that allows you to download whichever Google Fonts you’d like and so that way I had more creative control over the look of the poster. We used Wordle.net to create the wordle. For the data illustrations, we weren’t happy with the excel charts so I created those in PowerPoint. I think if I had more time, that is the one thing I would have gone back to fuss with more.

Take-aways:

  • Don’t sacrifice your content for the design
  • Let go of great ideas when they don’t work.
  • Try creating your own illustrations for data (instead of using Excel’s).

 

 

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.

Keepin’ It Quiet

It’s cold in the Mid-Atlantic y’all. I’m trying to unfreeze my fingers by typing this morning, and what better way to warm up my joints than by sharing designs that tackle an issue we all wrestle with in our respective libraries: Noise. The best of libraries are filled with people reading and chatting, studying and collaborating, and this dual use can often pose a problem when some of our patrons want to converse and others want extended silence. I’ve found myself at either end of this spectrum (as I’m sure we’ve all been). I’ve been shushed and gotten the stink-eye from students for talking too loudly, and I’ve had to ask students to turn down their beats because everyone in their section of the library can hear the tunes blasting from their headphones.

Designating certain areas of the library as different noise level zones can help alleviate some of these noise conflicts, but good signage is key. Patrons need to be aware of the noise level preferred in different parts of the library, which is why I like this great submission by Michael Hughes, Instruction Librarian at the Coates Library at Trinity University.

Noise Level Signage
Noise Level Signage – Coates Library – Trinity University

Michael adapted the following graphic from the University of California, San Francisco Libraries (with permission) and incorporated a free icon into the design.

Noise Level Signage
Original Noise Level Signage – University of California, San Francisco Libraries

As an alternative, Michael also created the following sign, which, although busier, takes the same theme and adds a new twist on it.

Quit Study

What I love about all of these noise level signs and posters is the neutrality of language. Instead of “noisy” we see the terms “conversational study” or “active learning,” which I think motivates patrons to remain respectful of those around them.

As an alternative, we have these submissions from İpek Yarar at MEF University Library in Istanbul, Turkey, which I think do a nice job of using humor to kindly relay a message for noise control. All three feature an iconic Charlie Chaplin movie still.

Please be quiet

CC-Quiet-2

CC-Quiet-1

Do you have noise level signage at your library? What designs work best for your patrons?

You can find Michael’s original Photoshop files of his noise level signage and İpek’s printable signage (originally created with Adobe InDesign) on the Library Design Share Google Folder.

What’s On Your Image Carousel?

A quick scan of library websites reveals that most have embraced the image carousel as a means of communicating news and announcements with library users. It’s how we share information about new resources, special events, library collections and any bit of information we think our patrons (or students or faculty or visitors) would like to know.

Creating effective images for a library website carousel can be a challenge. There is a delicate balance of imagery and text that, if distributed too far in either direction, can make your carousel announcements fade into the website background or cause digital users to shield their eyes and exit a page faster than you can say Google Analytics.

We’ve shared examples of web slides and carousel images in previous posts, and today we bring you a few more examples courtesy of Michael Hughes, Instruction Librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Two Screens Are Better Than One. Check Citations on Your Phone

Here’s what Michael has to say about creating effective web announcements:

I create carousel images for our website in order to promote new acquisitions or services. Here are two banners I made, one for our site-wide New York Times subscription and another for our mobile citation tool. Heat map testing demonstrates that the carousel is one of the least-clicked parts of the library website, but my images also appear in a slideshow that plays in the library’s cafe. At any rate, the carousel is just one component of an outreach strategy and, as a bonus, the images keep the website from appearing disused.

Enjoy Full Access to NYTIMES.COM

Michael’s carousel slides present a nice balance of text and images while connecting website visitors to important library resources.You can download the original, editable Photoshop files of these slides from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.

Vintage-Modern Message

Paseo Verde Library in Nevada has the same problem that many libraries do: patrons who loudly carry on phone conversations without regard for those around them.  Instead of shushing or putting up passive-aggressive signage that no one reads, Virtual Branch Librarian Tawnya Shaw designed something that clearly conveys the message with an image that might just cause patrons to do a double-take:

No-Cell-Sign2

To create this eye-catching design, Tawnya used Photoshop to alter a piece of Victorian clip art and Rockwell font for the text.  The combination of image, font, and white space make this vintage design somehow feel very modern and effective.

Want to get the message out at your library?  You can download the original files from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder and modify as you wish.

Brochures for Students & Alumni

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.

Student Guide - Front and Back - Final
Student Library Guide – Front & Back

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.

Student Guide - Inside Final
Student Guide – Inside

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!

Alumnae Guide Front and Back
Alumnae Guide – Front and Back
Alumnae Guide - Inside
Alumnae Guide – Inside

Get Infected With Knowledge

Get Infected With Knowledge - Zombie Library Promo Video Poster

 

We are loving this fantastic promotional poster created by Natalie Manke from the Metro Campus Library at Tulsa Community College to advertise their zombie-themed library promotional video, Get Infected with Knowledge.

Several of my coworkers and I, along with Tulsa Community College’s video production department, recently created a zombie-themed promotional video for our library (I would be remiss if I didn’t include a link to it), and I designed the poster we’re using to advertise it.

 

I created the poster in Photoshop. Since our video is zombie themed, I used classic horror movie posters as inspiration for the design I created. I was able to find some tutorials online that helped me give the poster a vintage feel to it. I used textures to make the paper appear aged and creased.  I also found some really great free fonts online from dafont.com. We were somehow able to convince our student activities department to make us a fake student ID for our zombie, so I used that as the main image on the poster. I am really thrilled with how the poster turned out in the end, and it was so much fun to design.

You can download a PDF copy of the poster from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive or you can email Natalie Manke for the original Photoshop file. You can also watch Get Infected with Knowledge on YouTube!

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