31 December 2012

Library Graphic Design Year In Review 2012

The image to the right is a photo that I have had pinned to my desk bulletin board for the past two years. I think it is an incredible shot. It leaves me with a whole host of questions though, such as why are all those chairs there?; how did they get them all stacked up like that?; what are they going to do with them?; is there no fire code for that alleyway?; and…has any of it ever toppled out into the street and buried an innocent pedestrian? 

The image also illustrates a certain sentiment I have about the volume of work I create as a designer for my library district. Just look at that volume. Those chairs could be my projects (although I wouldn't let them all clog up the alleyway like that). And look at that tiny man down below. That could be me. Nevertheless, whatever is going to be done with those chairs, that sure is a glut of work to do...much like my work! Fortunately, we have a much more orderly project request process (when people use it) to provide ample time for the work to be done. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. But often, I feel like my workload looks a lot like that unruly pile of chairs above.

It has been quite a year for my library and for me as a designer for them. And it has been a privilege for me to help promote my community's library system of 12 libraries. I feel they provide a tremendous resource to our community through their range of events and services. As the sole designer for our library district, I feel I am also a tremendous resource to my library by providing a range of design services at a significant quality and performance level to them as well.

For example, take the following numbers into consideration for 2012: 

Total 54 annual work weeks, roughly 250 total annual working days or 2000 hours.
Total Design Projects (January through 14 December): 766. 
That's up from 679 in FY2011 and FY384 in 2010…roughly 1 project completed every 2.61 hours every day. 

And although I am not a "printer," here is some additional volume:
Total In-House Printing: 28,942 project pages / impressions, many trimmed and some folded by hand afterwards.
Total External Vendor Printing: 80,000 pages.
Grand Total Printing: 108,942 pages / impressions.

1 Designer.

Happy New Year, and here's to seeing how all those chairs will stack up for us all in 2013. (I already have 43 projects due in January that I've worked on—and its not even January 1 yet!).

29 December 2012

Library Newsletter, THINK... Winter 2013

Television PSA appears on a local station channel to promote the library.
The library's free winter newsletter issue of THINK... arrived in branches just in time for the new year. This issue covers current news and over 1,075 scheduled events from January through March. Online copies are also available on the library's website, www.aclib.us. The print edition of 2,500 copies is delivered not only to all library branch locations but also to select non-library businesses to extend its reach further into the community.

The issue's use of a puzzle for a visual theme is a subtle nod toward the library's ability to bring a wide range of entertaining topics and community services together with the library to create events and programs that connect with and serve the interests of a diverse public.

A downloadable .pdf of the newsletter can be found here: http://aclib.us/files/2013_docs/THINKWinter2013.pdf .

Cover of the winter issue of THINK....
Online blog icon.

17 December 2012

Marketing Designs for Library Speaker Series: Life Skills for Teens

An 11x8.5 inch sign initiates the first of a series of teen oriented events.
Librarians from one of our youth services departments wanted to hold a series of events intended to help educate teens about important life skills. While I was being briefed to create publicity materials for the first event I learned the plan was to have more than one event for this purpose, so I proposed developing an identity mark for the entire series. This way each individual event could be easily recognized as part of a larger program—the series of events. 
Black/white and colour service marks were the first element to be made.

With an agreement to first create a service mark, I developed a small, colourful logo that incorporated gears into it to impart the idea of an important component of something greater that works, plus a symbol in the center of one of the gears to impart the idea of "adding" skills. These are of course, small, subtle design elements. So, a tagline was added underneath to further support the visual mark. The entire mark and tagline would appear on all related programs within the series. In the event that the series logo might need to be reproduced in black and white, a version of that was made as well. 

Quarter page handbills print four-up to a page prior to trimming.
As for materials for the first event, "Show Me The Money," I sourced photographic images of piles of scattered money and tried a couple out as background images/decorative borders. I didn't feel they had much visual impact or recognition as bills, however, so I chose a more identifiable, graphic detail element from a single dollar bill instead. Liking what I saw, I used that image as the background and matched event headline text to the bill ink colour. 

I kept descriptive and display text within our corporate standards fonts of Arial and Garamond. The original lengthy event description text I chopped down to a simple, impactful statement. Essential time, date, location information, a website address for more information, and the corporate branding rounded out the required elements.

Web ad as seen on the library website home page.

Projects included:
1 Program series identity mark, 
colour and b/w versions
200 Quarter page handbills
20 11x8.5 inch signs
1 Web page banner

A web ad for the library home page boils visual information down.
Additional information can be provided underneath in caption text.