26 August 2014

Logo Design for Library Summer Palooza Event

After 25 years of hosting a Literary Festival event in October, the Alachua County Library District decided the time had come to integrate it into the Summer Reading Program and rebrand the newly appointed August event as the "Summer Reader Palooza," that celebrated the end of the Summer Reading program and kicked off the back-to-school season.

To initiate branding of this new event, the library required a new event identity. I wanted the mark to appeal to the age-appropriate audience of children, so I selected a playful yet easy to read display font and cheerful colour scheme. I also created the icon of a book and inset it into a modified clip art sun icon to provide an easily recognizable association to books and summer. 

I developed a few logo variations until I came up with four that worked well, then selected the one that looked like it would have the highest technical reproduction integrity, as well as what I hoped would have strongest potential for remaining fresh and have staying power — perhaps one that could last for another 25 years! The final mark is shown here in its two options, full colour and black/white. 

Final logo files were passed to the client for using on documents and publicity that they created. The only application of the new identity I used it on was a web banner posted on the library website, seen below.

Web banner ad used for library website.

06 August 2014

Integrated Library Literacy Collateral Re-Design

A variety of new and redesigned integrated marketing collateral materials for the Literacy
 office include 8.5x11 signs, quarter page handbills, recruitment cards and utility bill insert,
 a tri-fold brochure, a six-page tutor handbook, and a 24-page PowerPoint presentation.

In 2013 the Alachua County Library District hired a new literacy coordinator. I felt this was an opportune time to tackle the job of updating the literacy office's array of materials with a redesign so all collaterals were better integrated with one another. 

Previously designed items borrowed from each other but lost a sense of continuity when seen as a whole. This redesign would take the opportunity to maximize use of its primary visual image of a globe, simplify the colour palette from red, white and blue to shades of green with white, refine the typographical fonts and treatments, and to broaden the use of a simplified corporate brandmark.

I started with the most pressing of items needed, quarter page handbills that advertised the service to patrons in need, then additional ones used to recruit potential tutors. While the both the fronts and backs of these two-sided card stock items would look very similar, both would utilize different headlines geared toward their appropriate audience. Similarly, contact information on the backs of each would be adjusted to suit the appropriate reader. The response was so tremendous that I had to order second and third printings of the cards to keep up with demand as they disappeared from where they were distributed in libraries and around the county.

Next up was a redesign of the existing Literacy Office brochure. Both updated and new information were provided, so a new layout was created to arrange and display sections of text into shorter blocks for easy reading. About the same time that the brochure was being developed, a website blog icon was created based on the cover of the brochure which used a green band of colour with white text reversing out of it overlaid the green globe.

The same design solution for the Literacy Office brochure and blog icon was then employed in development of aTutor Handbook design. A fresh re-write of the six-page document text was matched with an equally refreshed new look and that would maintain the same typographical treatment from the brochure for strengthening brand continuity.

For tutor training, a 24-page PowerPoint presentation was created utilizing the same design elements and sensibilities. 

While tutor training was underway, agreements with existing and new tutoring sites required advertising of their locations and dates. One quarter-page handbill design was used both as a handbill as well as a utility bill insert. Other single and two-sided handbills and associated 8.5x11 inch signs for posting were produced in both English and Spanish language to better serve both speaking populations. 

Lastly (for the time-being), a point of purchase sign was created to for fundraising during one of the local friends of the library book sales. Placement of the sign at a location outside of the library where book lovers and supporters of the library mission congregated was a great idea and hopefully produced measurable results for the library's literacy program.

Projects included:
200 internally printed tutor recruitment cards 
+ a revised printing of 200
400 internally printed reading help cards 
+ additional reprints of 400, 600, & 5000
55 internally printed literacy office brochures 
2500 vendor printed literacy office brochures
150 internally printed six-page tutor handbooks
One local utility bill insert advert .pdf
One library Website Blog Icon .jpg
24-page tutor training PowerPoint presentation
40 Two-sided English / Spanish quarter-page handbills
11 New classes 8.5x11 inch Spanish version sign
11 New classes 8.5x11 inch English version sign
One "Help Promote Literacy" 8.5x11 inch sign .pdf

Stay tuned, because more marketing opportunities are continually being explored, and along with them, additional design projects.

29 July 2014

Doctor Who? Library Event Marketing Designs

Banner ad displayed on library website.
Doctor Who is coming to town by way of your library event, and you're wanting to teleport some promotional marketing materials your way in a flash. What to do? Just wave your "sonic screwdriver" in the air? No, you call your crafty graphic designer to do some image research and magically blend the results all together to create a unique, custom promotional image for your event. Then you stand back and watch as he expertly maximizes this single image in such a way as to create an integrated series of different promotional marketing items to promote your event with consistency for greater impact and recognition.

Sourced images used for new illustration.
Where to start? How about with providing sufficient time for your designer to do a good job for you. You've spent how many days and weeks, maybe even months thinking and planning for this event? Why not let your designer in on the action as early as you are. Then you'll be working together as a team, not just dropping off "the laundry" in his lap while asking how soon can you get it back. Some ideas you have may influence the direction of the design process; likewise, some design decisions might even inspire ideas for your event. Without providing sufficient time for generating marketing concepts, making adjustments based on feedback, and then distributing the final collaterals, your event is otherwise destined to hobble along with less impressive quality and less time to reach the full scope of your potential audience.
An 8.5x11 inch sign for posting at locations.

At my library, internal clients are asked to provide a 4-6 week advance notice of their projects. Unfortunately, that happens only about 50-75% of the time. Fortunately for me the first part of this project came in with sufficent notice; unfortunately, the other half was requested urgently and delivered with less than three days notice.

For development of a centerpiece illustration, I first sourced (looked) for public domain images I could use to create a custom illustration of the iconic "tardis" booth that Doctor Who uses to teleport himself through space and time. I wanted to give the stationary booth a dynamic, energized appearance, so I looked for radiating light rays, electrified-looking time delayed light patterns, colourful swirling shapes, clouds, glass, metallics, and other materials. Once I had a collection of images that looked like they could work together to provide me with the results I wanted, I layered them in Photoshop and experimented with a variety of colour balance sliders, effects, and filters to produce a dynamic, new image unique to our event.

Quarter page handbill arrangement
on 8.5x11 inch page.
I first applied the illustration to the 8.5x11 inch sign, then submitted for client review and feedback. Once all content and aesthetic details were approved on this initial design concept, I applied them to the remaining collaterals, repurposing the arrangement of illustration and typography to each individual piece as appropriate, taking care to be mindful about text size legibility for readers.

While I was sourcing for images I could use to incorporate into my illustration, I came across a wide range of Doctor Who related assemblage designs created for public consumption by artist CyberDrone (http://cyberdrone.deviantart.com) for a company called Cubeecraft (cubeecraft.com). These designs included images you could print out flat on card stock using your office or desktop printer, then cut out and fold together into three-dimensional Doctor Who characters, a tardis, sonic screwdriver, video arcade machine and other items. I printed out a few different tardis booth renderings, folded three versions into their final shapes and presented them to the librarians to see if they might be of any use as options for event activities. They liked them and decided they would indeed enjoy to include them at the event.

Printed tardis materials and fabrication process.
About a week later, one of the librarians said that they liked the mini-tardis constructions so much that they wanted to paint an old refrigerator cardboard box into the image of a tardis. With the event only three days away, I doubted they'd make it in time, so I suggested I try to print out a full scale (over six foot) large-format image of the  mini assemblage tardis I had provided them with earlier. A test print revealed I could indeed get a good quality print out of the artwork, so I made some modifications to it (added an additional set of square panels to make it higher overall, remade the call box text panel because the text was not sharp, removed the door sign for a new one to be placed on later, created new hardware door pull and lock, created new window textures, and lightened the overall colour globally to help compensate for printer ink gain). I then printed out the large tardis walls. The print out proportions didn't perfectly match the box, so I had to print out an additional wall print to cannibalize for adding a little extra strip of colour around the base, as well as for fabricating the additional pyramid and light beacon features that topped off the tardis. The entire project materials only required use of the printer paper, sissors, duct tape, double and single sided clear tape, and the cardboard box. Total construction took about six hours.

The dalek is put to work around the library.
After the librarians marveled at the completed tardis box, one asked if I could print out an enlarged image of a dalek (robot) to a size that might compliment the life-sized tardis. Using the large format printer, I printed the dalek to the size of my largest remaining piece of cardboard (32x52 inches), then cut the shape out. Afterwards, I decided to have a little fun with it, and put it to work for me as I completed fulfillment of the publicity materials. You can see that the dalek helped monitor the printing of a poster of itself; used the cutting board to chop the quarter page handbills, looked for a book about robots in the stacks, brushed up on its upcoming event presentation skills by reading Dale Carnegie's book How to Make Friends and Influence Others, and cleaned up after itself--demonstrating workplace production and leadership qualities that a few staff members could benefit from by taking notice of themselves. 
16x20 inch contest gift poster design.

Just when I thought I'd cleared every imaginable last minute marketing design request, there was one more: "wouldn't it be great if we could make a version of the publicity sign into a poster to use as a give-away for winning a contest?" Sure...of course it would! Easy enough, with a little modification to repurpose the sign into an event poster, and wahlah!, instant poster design, x2 for winners of event contests and x3 for additional event announcement signs. 

After promotional and event materials were completed, photos were taken at the event, edited down to the best, and left to librarians to publish to the library Flickr account. I've posted one shot below to show a view of the tardis lurking in the background, and an easel display in the foreground that announced the opportunity to win a poster of the same.

Scope of work included:
(4) 8.5x11 inch signs
(60) Quarter page handbills
(1) Website banner ad
(5) 16x20 inch gift posters & promotional signs
(1) 32x52 inch dalek display poster mounted to board
(6) 33x74.5 inch tardis box & other associated printed elements for full scale dimensional display construction
(30) Event day photography

16x20 inch gift poster display sign at event. Tardis in background.

04 June 2014

Two Winning Library Marketing Design Entries at the 2014 Best of Show Awards at PR Xchange

Cover of winning THINK... newsletter / program guide / calendar of events.

Congratulations !

In May I was notified that I received two 2014 National PR Xchange Best of Show Awards from the Library Leadership Administration and Management Association's Public Relations and Marketing Section of the American Library Association. The winning entries were for a brochure titled "Things With Wings" and for the electronic version of our library newsletter, THINK... which is delivered as both print and online products. 

The official categories for these two winning entries are identified as:
Bibliographies / Booklists / Materials Promoting Collections - print category: 
Things With Wings Booklist Brochure,” $6 - $20 million budget category
Calendars of Events / Newsletters - electronic category:
THINK... Spring 2013  Newsletter & Program Guide,” $6 - $20 million budget category 

Considering there were 345 entries submitted by both public and private libraries nationwide and that contest committee chairs typically have entries judged by a panel of design, marketing communications and public relations professionals rather than librarians, it is an honor to be recognized for the design work I do on behalf of the library district I serve in Alachua County, Florida. A link to the winning issue (and other issues) of THINK... newsletter can be found here: http://www.aclib.us/think-archive .

Winning entries will be on display June 29, from 11:00am-1:30pm at the PR Xchange event which is part of the American Library Association annual conference, this year being held in Las Vegas. And, although I won't be personally in attendance, award certificates will be presented during the Best of Show Ceremony that same Sunday. The event provides an opportunity for visitors to browse through, be inspired by, and take home publicity materials offered by libraries around the country.

The annual Best of Show at PR Xchange recognizes the very best public relations materials produced by libraries in the past year. Entries will be evaluated based on content, originality, and design by a team of experts in public relations, graphic design, communications, and marketing who select the winner(s) in each category. The Best of Show Awards are sponsored by the Library Leadership Administration and Management Association's Public Relations and Marketing Section and are overseen by the PR XChange Committee. More information about the PR Xchange can be read here: http://www.ala.org/llama/awards/prxchange_bestofshow

In 2013, winning entries were posted on Flickr by the committee at https://www.flickr.com/photos/97060948@N06/sets/ (of which I had one winning entry that year also). So with that in mind, I anticipate the same might take place for these 2014 Best of Show winners as well.

Brochure exterior cover and interior panel views (placed on tan background for better viewing of dimensions).

25 May 2014

Marketing for a New Library Grand Opening Event

Roadside sign announces opening of new library after opening day.
Invitation (folded) was printed on card stock, two invites per 8.5x11 inch page.
Event program (lower right) was also printed in the same manner, but not folded.

Grand opening public service 
announcement ad.
In 2011 the Alachua County Library District received permission from the city of Gainesville, Florida to build a new branch library. After that agreement and until they could build a permanent building, a mobile trailer was used as a functioning library. Finally, in 2013, work on the permanent structure began and leading up to its opening, the library wanted to get word out that a grand opening celebration would take place.

I looked back at previously designed marketing collaterals for the mobile unit's grand opening as a basis for continuing the theme of "building the future." That series of collaterals made use of a blue print background, a rainbow, and a few architectural tools such as a t-square. An announcement for ground breaking on the new permanent location site used a shovel silhouette along with the rainbow as part of the handle. You can see samples of those materials in my earlier blog posts here http://librarygraphicdesign.blogspot.com/2011/12/cone-park-library-branch-grand-opening.html and here http://librarygraphicdesign.blogspot.com/2013/04/library-groundbreaking-ceremony.html .

Post grand opening public service
 announcement ad.
Now that the permanent building had architectural renderings, I decided to use the architect's elevation drawing as line art for the basis of the new permanent building's grand opening design collaterals. I combined the elevation drawing with a sepia-toned wood grain image to add colour to it and to become the central art element on all collaterals. For purposes of continuity from piece-to-piece of the new collaterals, I made use of the same wood grain texture as a border treatment and within outlined text of the words "Grand Opening."

Website home page banner ad.
The first marketing piece to be distributed was an invitation, printed two up on a full page, then trimmed and folded down to be a quarter-paged sized card that could be opened. The 300 physical copies would be conventionally mailed out to recipients. A second invitation version saved as a .jpg would be embedded as an image into emails invitations sent out to additional recipients.

8.5 x 11 inch sign to post
in existing branch before
transfer of materials into
 the new library branch.
Two television broadcast public service announcement ads were created. One for announcing the grand opening event, and a second one for long term use after the grand opening. A 23x34 inch poster was also created for use in a free-standing frame to be displayed in the Headquarters Library lobby.

Closer to the grand opening day, a website banner ad and a secondary blog icon image would also appear on the library website to announce the grand opening and link to a blog post for details.

Because the mobile library unit would still be in operation during construction of the new permanent building, a time would come when materials from the mobile unit would need to move to the permanent site. A sign was created to provide advance notice for that disruption of service on the days that transfer of materials would happen. 

Library lobby poster.
Roadside yard signs were also created to be used along the stretch of road that passed in front of the new library location. One designed set appeared to announce the grand opening event, a second designed set appeared the day of the grand opening, and a final set appeared after the grand opening day to announce that the permanent library building was now open for business. The 24x29 inch signs were printed on large format paper and laminated for protection from inclement weather.

For the day of the grand opening, an event program was created, printed front and back on card stock, two programs to an 8.5x11 inch page. A diagram of the building's floorplan was also created to help visitors navigate the new space. And lastly, a pair of certificates were designed to present to the Library Foundation and Friends of the Library organizations for their generous support in helping to make the new library possible look and function to the highest of expectations.
Email invitation image.

Photos of the grand opening event can be viewed here:


Event poster showed floorplan 
sections of new library.
Items created for publicizing the new library: 

300 copies: Grand Opening Event Invitation

1 copy: Grand Opening Event Email Invitation

1 copy: Grand Opening PSA #1

1 copy: New Library Open PSA #2

1 copy: Grand Opening Event Website Banner

Donor certificate.
1 copy: New Library Open Blog Icon

4 copies: Library Closed (during collection shift) 8x11 inch Signs

1 copy: 20x30 inch Grand Opening Announcement Lobby Poster

3 versions / 6 prints each: 24x19 inch Yard Signs for Pre-Grand Opening, Day-Of Grand Opening; and Now Open Post Grand Opening
Donor certificate.

100 copies: Grand Opening Event Program

1 copy: Grand Opening Event Colour Coded 
24x19 inch Poster

1 copy: Cake Decoration Image

1 copy: Grand Opening Event 11x8.5 inch Appreciation Certificate for Friends of the LIbrary donor

1 copy: Grand Opening Event 11x8.5 inch Appreciation Certificate for Foundation donor

Event program front and back.

08 May 2014

Design Collaterals for 2014 Library Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

To strengthen recognition of any single event, its marketing collaterals
should be created to maintain a cohesive look from one piece to another.

Top row: starting images.
Bottom: modified images.
For the 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, the library chose John Cech, who—among a variety of notable accolades—was Director of the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. He planned to speak about local Florida “treasures” that literary work had written about.

In conversations with my internal client, we agreed on exploring a visual solution that imparted the idea of a long-held keepsake from childhood that over the course of time might have become a little worn but nevertheless remained a personal treasure for the memories it evoked. 

Since the event was for a library, it was only natural to settle on a book concept—if for no other reason than to help present the essential invitation and program information. A book or personal journal could be the quintessential keepsake. 
Two sides of printed
program cover.

Next was to create something that looked like an “old book.” I already had a selection of domain free images of textures I could tap into from previous projects, and easily selected a brown leather grained material to be the cover of the book. A second book cover image had a wonderfully aged texture and decorative flower motif that would serve well as an accent to the primary cover material image. As it turns out, I also use the same image used in black/white as a pattern inside large “brackets” in the quarterly library newsletter, THINK...., so there is already a subliminal connection to the library for those who really look hard. 

Both original images needed to be modified for use in the luncheon event, however. I brightened both up and also changed the dark brown leather to be purple. The purple/gold combination looked more festive—perhaps a little more regal or “award ceremony-ish”—it was certainly a more youthful than the darker and duller original images. My client remarked that the purple/gold comination reminded her of the book The Little Prince; I was leaning toward Harold and the Purple Crayon myself. Neither was spot on, but hey, if the colour choices emparted any specific childhood book then I was already on target.
250 single-sided printed invitations on
 110lb stock before folding into card.

I planned to use the purple leather as the exterior cover of the book, then use the gold patterned image as an interior cover end paper surface. Once I placed text on the cover, however, I decided I wanted the cover to be more immediately recognizable as a book, so I included the gold accent image along the spine. I also used the accent pattern inside of a gold star that rested atop the display text, providing readers with an eye-catching place to start reading from.

I also wanted a playful, hand-generated looking display font with a thick line weight so it could still look bold even if used at a small point size. For this, I chose a font named “One Starry Night.” For the bulk of remaining text, I kept with the library’s corporate standards of Arial and Adobe Garamond.
The completed print invitation.

The first item of business was to create a print invitation in order to get it mailed out to recipients with enough advance notice. The library had typically used front/back printed quarter page card stock inserted into invitation envelopes for mailing. But because this theme involved a book design, I wanted this year’s invitation to be a “mini book” of sorts, with a cover and at least one internal page spread to open to. Having that would mean there would be four individual pages to provide information on in addition to the external and internal cover surfaces (not that I would advocate filling every open surface with text). It worked out well to have the event name on the cover; an invitation message on the first inside page; speaker credentials information on the left interior spread; event theme and essential date/time/location information on the right inside spread; and RSVP information requirements on the back inside page. The back cover and inside cover end pages could remain decorative and uncluttered. 
The e-vite version of the event invitation.

A separate RSVP card was created to be tucked into the invitation, but was later cancelled in favour of having attending guests either phone or email in their RSVPs. I was hopeful that the interior 24lb text pages could be bound to the exterior 110lb card stock cover by using a thin gold stretchy band, but due to a limited budget we used a thin, tan rubber band which--although cheap--didn't look terribly bad.
Checking program trim and alignment.

With the invitation setting the tone for the visuals, an e-invitation image was created to mimic the print invitation. This image would accompany electronically delivered invitations to invited guests. It would be followed up a few weeks later with a save-the-date email that included an instantly recognizable theme design image as an reminder.

Taking its cue from the invitation design, the event program would follow suit. It would utilize the same invitation book style and be more substancial in content with 12 interior pages: an opening dedication page; speaker bio; event schedule; six pages of branch volunteer highlights; a spread highlighting the speaker’s key points with a map to refer to their location; and a list of contributors to thank. Two slits into the back cover would hold in place a discount entrance ticket to one of the locations from the speaker’s list.
Above, below:
program interior pages.

The interior pages looked too stark and cheap against the detailed texture of the inside cover end pages, so I wanted to find something that had a little texture to it but not so much that it competed with the inside cover textures. I used an image of a handmade paper that had thin fibers and some golden accent leaves in it. After toning the original image back to 30% brightness, it provided a nice compliment to the cover textures. For continuity from page-to-page, I also made use of the gold patterned star as an accent above disaply text ascenders, as text bullets, and site locations on the map. Like my hope for the invitation, I hoped the program would make use of a nice, decorative gold stretch band. But finding materials within budget was a challenge. In the end, although a single staple held interior pages to each exterior cover, a length of gold yarn was used to hide the staple. It wasn't anyone's first choice, but it worked for those concerned with budget issues and the appearance of appearing too extravagant with public funding; a reasonable concern, of course.

While program language was being developed by others, I worked on designs for a raffle winner star and a discount ticket to one of the speaker’s destinations of choice. The raffle winner star was quick and easy: I picked up the accent star icon from the invitation and program, added a border around it using the purple cover texture, added the words “You Win!” inside the star, then duplicated the design multiple times on a single 8.5x11 inch page and them out for cutting out with an X-acto blade.

The discount ticket would require a little more work. I wanted it to have a carnival or movie ticket shape and use the same purple/gold textures. I created an outline of the ticket shape in Adobe Illustrator, then did the same with the border design. I turned the border into an outline stroke that I could import the gold texture into, then saved it as an image to place on page over top of the purple background texture. The ticket required text on both the front and back, so I placed that language into the center of the ticket. 

Program coupon front / back.
Originally, I wanted to have the border treatment on both sides of the ticket, but the paper pick-up on the office copier I used varied too much from page-to-page for me to count on a reliable alignment of front-to-back images. To address this, I opted against using a border treatment on the back of the ticket and centered text in a box ghosting out of the gold accent paper image instead.

Twentyfour table assignment markers were next to complete. I used 8.5x11 inch 110lb card stock pages to duplicate a design three times per page so that I could fold the page into a vertical pylon. Enough unprinted excess left on one side of the page provided me with enough room to act as a tab I could double stick tape to the leading end on the opposite side. To coordinate it with the other designs, I used the program page image of the handmade paper for the primary background of the table marker, used the purple and gold book image patterns for accent, along with the gold star.

Three-sided table markers.
Collateral designs produced for this event included:

Print Invitation (250)
Print Invitation Interior Pages (250)
E-Invitation Image (1)
RSVP Invitation Insert Card (Created but cancelled)
E-Save The Date Image (1)
Raffle Winner Stars (23)
Event Program Gift Coupon (250)
Event Program Exterior Cover (250)
Event Program Interior Pages (6 pages x 250)
Event Table Reservation Markers (24)
Event Table Veggie Plate Markers (12)

Some production shots. Upper left: trimming invitations; Upper right: trimming
invitation interior page; Middle left: notes on printed coupon pages during
effort to align printed fronts and backs; Middle right: cutting out scallop portion
of coupons after printing both sides; Lower left: cutting and folding programs;
Lower right: trimming collated interior pages of program before stapling together.