|A newly designed signage system created for the children's collection provided solutions to serve multiple interests.|
|New room furnishings provided the|
inspiration for a more colourful
signage system that could compliment it.
With all the major refurbishing complete, a new set of signage was desired to update the appearance of the collections as well. An audit determined that signs would be needed for tops of bookshelves, bookshelf end panels, walls, and suspended from the ceiling.
In the past, this library's bookshelf end panel signs were simply pieces of 8.5x11 inch copier paper printed with a range of appropriate call numbers--sometimes coupled with a symbolic illustration included on the sign, sometimes not--then taped into their location. The initial directive for me was to do something along similar lines. As I began sourcing for images to be used with bookshelf signs, I found plenty of examples I thought looked good either stylistically or thematically, but 1) the library didn't have image rights to reuse them, and 2) when viewing them all together, I came to the conclusion that I would need to re-illustrate them in order to achieve a consistent, uniform style. So for the images I liked best, I drew over them to simplify them as line drawings.
|Signs are itemized in a signage intent document so that all individuals|
involved in the process have an opportunity to review the design
intent and schedule of deliverables prior to RFP and eventual fabrication.
Because most surfaces in the library are angular in shape, I wanted to explore ways to counteract that with signs that featured more organic shapes. I was also eager to explore ways to integrate the new, vibrant room colours into the sign designs as well. So taking my cue from the new colour palette, I arranged the collection numbers into circles, then placed the circles partially into a larger, central circle that featured the theme image of each bookshelf aisle series. I offset the placement of the two smaller text circles so that they followed the convention of reading left-to-right and top-to-bottom. This also helped to avoid a symmetrical and linear arrangement of the three circles. The overall arrangement resulted in what I ended up referring to as a "triple circle" sign.
The solution appeared to work well, so I applied it to the rest of the bookshelf end panel signs. After seeing the colour selections for the numbered circles, I decided I should also maintain a consistency in the way colour would be used there too. So, for example, the 800-900s circle portion of a sign should remain the same when seen on any another sign.
In addition to the triple-circle signs, three different single-circle signs were also created: large 10-3/4 inch signs--one for magazines/audio tapes, and one for early readers; a set of six inch circles that displayed alphabetical letters for the picture book collection; and a single six inch circle sign for the ending numerical range of the triple-circle series.
|Placement of bookshelf top paper |
sign for on-site testing and review.
Because ceiling signs would need to be seen from two directions, two different 1/8 inch acrylic signs would need to be made, then glued back-to-back. Together as one unit, the new ceiling signs would make use of the same hardware of hooks and chains used to suspend the old signs.
Back of bookshelf top sign shows
construction of "L" brace.
For shelf-top signs, they would need to lean back slightly so they wouldn't tip over. I wasn't certain if the acrylic could bend into an "L" shape or not, so I first designed it that way, but deferred to my external sign vendor for his advice. He suggested that it would be easier to create an "L" shaped brace made of another material, then glue it to the back of the sign for support.
Before final signs were ordered and fabricated, I printed out all but the ceiling-mounted signs to use for a few months on location as a field test. This way, I could see if the proposed designs were adequate in size, work well for public navigation, and be aesthetically pleasing. Feedback from both youth services staff and patrons were overwhelmingly positive, so the concept was approved and I moved forward to work with the sign vendor on securing price quotes, working out technical aspects of the fabrication process, and creation of final digital files.
Cutting out full-scale paper prints for on-site testing.
On-site testing of paper signs temporarily placed to check for
aesthetic value, proper sizing, and sufficient public navigation issues.
On-site field testing of paper signs
served their purpose but were by no
means intended to be permanent.
Three double-sided 48 inch ceiling signs suspended by existing hook and chain hardware
Nineteen 6 inch circle alphabet bookshelf end signs
One 6 inch circle numerical wall sign
Nine 14.5x10.75 "triple circle" bookshelf end signs
One 23.5x3.25 inch bookshelf top easel backed sign
One 11.5x3.25 inch bookshelf top easel backed sign
Two 12.5x3.25 inch bookshelf top easel backed signs
|A shot of the fabricated signs before installation. Only sign not included in shot was the large ceiling sign for Picture Books.|
|Detail of one of the "triple cirlce" bookshelf end panel signs.|
|Completed signs installed on bookshelf end panels and ceiling.|
|A view of completed signs installed.|
|A view of bookshelf and ceiling mounted sign in the picture book area.|