23 November 2012

Library Grand [Re-]Opening Invitation & Program Marketing Designs

Event program front.
My how time flies. Back in late June through September our Headquarters library was constructing a room inside our largest open public space where most of our collections are. The room was to become a "quiet reading room" and was in response to patron comments asking for such a space. 

The library wanted to hold a grand opening to celebrate the room's completion and I was tasked with the creation of an invitation to mail out two weeks prior to the event as well as a program for the day of the event. That was fine, but by the time design development needed to take place in order to be completed in time to send invitations outthe room construction was still unfinished and the furniture that had been ordered for it still had yet to arrive. 

I was also informed that the game plan had changed; the event would now not only be for the grand opening of the quiet reading room, but would also incorporate a grand "re-opening" of the third and main floor of the library since a variety of "sprucing up projects" had also taken place on the floor, such as recarpeting, repainting the interior walls, refurnishing with new patron computer stations, and the like.

Event program back.

There was a small technicality I couldn't get out of my head, however. The library never actually closed for renovations or redecorating, so calling it a "re-opening" seemed like a bit of a misnomer to me. Nevertheless, that is what they wanted to bill it as. I decided to place the "re-" in brackets to signify their relevance and as an alternative to using quote or parentheses marks. I also added colour the lettering to bring emphasis to and differentiate it from the "grand opening" segment of the event title to call attention to what the "re-" actually referred to: the rededication of old spaces recently "refreshed, renewed, revealed" as opposed to the entirely new quiet reading room.

I took photos of the room while it was being constructed on a couple of different occasions, but it invariably had a variety of construction gear and/or transient shelving temporarily stored in the room no matter when I came. By itself, the room also wasn't much to look at no matter what angle I showed it at, so, without a finished room nor any interior decor to use for identifiable imagery on the invitation and program, I looked for other options. 

I began work developing a blue print concept, but I considered this concept too freshly similar to a grand opening we had for one of our new branch librares only nine months earlier. It also looked too unsophisticated for what I would rather show. I preferred instead to investigate other opportunities and settled on some of the existing, unique architectural and interior furnishing features of the building. 

Invitation front.
Invitation back.
I started by taking photos of some nice, large dome lights, with the notion of using the old tried-and-true "the lights are on/we're open for business" approach. I also shot a selection of the library's large wooden ceiling beams used throughout the large public space. Finally, I set my sights on the centerpiece of these beams that criss-crossed high overhead in the large room. The structure was so tall that to get a full length shot of it would require me to stand very far away—thus making the structure very tiny in larger photo—or, to take a shot of it at an angle where I could foreshorten the entire view of it. I ended up laying on my back on the floor near its base, shooting up at it and the skylights that shined down onto it from above to capture a wonderful illumination from the very early morning light. The actual light was much darker than seen on the final image; thanks to the miracle of photoshop I was able to significantly lighten and adjust image contrast globally to bring out the warm hues of the wood tones without completely blowing out details in the light fixture or skylight areas.

The long vertical orientation of the photo would work perfect for the half page layout I would use for the program, but wouldn't work for the invitation in its entirety, so I took the shot with that in mind so I could use a detailed portion of the overall image that focused on a large lighting fixture as a key feature, playing on the "light on/we're open for business" concept mentioned above. Once I had the detail image where I wanted it on the invitation, I duplicated a very small portion of the larger image and laid it overtop part of the letter "P" to show the rod—which supported the light fixture—pass through the hole of the letter form. I also came up with a tagline to clarify why the "'RE-" was highlighted in a different colour than the white lettering (it used a pale tan taken from the nearby wood). "A re-dedication" was really what I would have considered the event, if it weren't for the brand new quiet reading room component. The event was really a blend of dedicating two featured aspects: the new room as part of a renovation, and the newly refreshed areas in the same public space. Either way, I was bringing attention to the "re-" aspect of the overall effort.

A last few items helped to assist promote the event. These included a home website page banner, a 23x34 inch poster that would be installed into a freestanding post, and the rendering of a new floor plan map that identified locations of the collections that could be found on that floor. Each invitation and program were individually trimmed out by hand to ensure no unprinted white paper excess appeared around the image area.

A new floor plan was created by scanning an old
floor plan, then recreating it by redrawing all the
exterior walls and a few select interior ones.
In all, the project tally included:
235 Invitations
75 Programs
100 Floor plan maps
1 Freestanding 23x24 inch lobby poster
1 Web banner


  1. This must have been another one of your BIG projects. The time and effort you put into your work is amazing and with outstanding results. Good job.

  2. I have to add, I am amazed my comment was published. It's been really hard to get past the "robot" thing many times!!!

  3. Congratulations on getting your comment past the "robot" Bookworm! And many thanks for the compliments as well. This project wasn't one of my bigger projects in scope as much as it was one that lingered around for a long time while waiting for content. Fortunately, I had pretty much free rein on the creative, so that helped speed things along once practical matters about scheduling and content were settled.