Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful week and have a lovely weekend planned. For today’s design chat, I want to talk a bit about signage. Signage can be polarizing in a library (I know some people who seem to be anti all signage, but that’s a discussion for another day) and it can be done very poorly. But signage, good signage, has the potential to be useful and to show that the library cares. And don’t we all want that in our libraries?
I have a love-hate relationship with signage in my library. We have some great signage, we have some bad signage, and we have a confusing building that could definitely use some more wayfinding help. But what gets to me sometimes is not the really bad signage (that is a given), but the indifferent signage. I’d almost prefer something to be really bad than to feel indifferent.
Because at least really bad signage took some thought. Indifferent signage is just that, indifferent. Like no one could be bothered to put any effort into a sign at all. I’m sure that wasn’t the intent by anyone who created the signage, but it doesn’t showcase the caring that we want to convey in the library. So, of course, that means time for some guerrilla signage change.
This is the original sign that caught my eye, but not in a good way:
Signage can become part of the background, the visual furniture, that it takes conscience focusing for us to really see it. I noticed this because I’ve been on a spree getting all our flyers and brochures to be professionally displayed at our service desk and couldn’t handle this being left alone.
So I did a quick search for the Accessible Icon Project to download their logo and set some new copy in a font that works with the icon, printed it out, and installed a new sign:
Thought, caring, signage that works. All in a day’s work for librarians who love design and love making our spaces accessible and inclusive to all.
So what signage is hanging around your library that you don’t even see any more? What needs to be changed? And what can you do about it?
Happy designing and have a lovely weekend. I’ll be back soon with more design news and notes. Allons-y!