Friday Design: Awesome Koloa Signs

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has gone well and you have a relaxing weekend planned. I’ve been traveling this past week and wanted to share some signs I particularly liked in Koloa. You can see, there isn’t any Helvetica in sight and these signs provide some good examples of what libraries can do to make their signage unique and even playful while still communicating effectively.

So here are a few of the signs I saw while walking around:

photograph of Kaua'i culinary market sign

This is a great sandwich board sign for the weekly farmers market. It is cute, easy-to-read, uses the branding font for “The Shops at Kukui’ula” and manages to look professional and homespun at the same time. Love it and the market that it advertises. And, check out the great use of the same colors in the image of the basket and the type used on the sign. This is some thoughtful graphic design. You could try the same color sampling and minimalist design in your next library project.

photograph of sign for Halele'a Gallery

This is the beautiful sign for the Halele’a Gallery in the same outdoor shopping complex. Not Helevetica and still classy! Love the drawings of ferns and fronds around the gallery’s name to create what looks like a name seal. It is beautiful, subdued, and would look great on everything from this sign to letterhead, business cards, and (of course) seals. So lovely. Execute all your library designs with this much grace and people will notice.

photograph for Martin and MacArthur

Another great sign, this one showing a beautiful example of using flourishes for the capitals. Notice in the background on the building how the same “M” is used above the name in the sign. Beautiful, classy, with a lovely color palette that completely works with the yellow of the building, the white of the trim, and the tropical plantings out front. This is signage done right.

Has your library considered how its signage will work within the context of where you will hang it? If you haven’t, you should.

photograph of store directoryThis is one of the store directories. Notice how they same font is used consistently, even though all these businesses uses different fonts in their branding. Easy to read, no extraneous information or little descriptions that no one could ever possibly read at a glance.

Does your library have a directory? Is it as clear and easy to read? If not, its time to make it clearer. Also, note that you don’t have to use a san serif font to make directories readable, you just have to select your font with care.

photograph of sign asking people not to smokeThis is without a doubt my favorite sign at this shopping center. It is witty, clever, and gets its point across without some large, red circle with an “X” over a clip art image of a cigarette. Notice that the san serif font used is playful, which reinforces the language used, but it is still clear.

Libraries could learn from this when creating signage that we want to be more positive instead of negative–especially in regards to noise issues and cell phone use. Clear headline with clever copy. Would love to see such signage in libraries, though probably sans chicken.

Hope you enjoyed this look at some signage and how you can apply lessons from them to your next library sign design. I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of reading, creating, and fun. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

 

Friday Design Inspiration

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a good week and are on the cusp of a fabulous weekend. I have a short post full of design inspiration to help with your next design projects this month.

I’m still loving the monthly design inspiration from Smashing Magazine and the September edition doesn’t disappoint. I hope you find something inspiring from their picks, too.

Also from Smashing Magazine, more free icon sets. These are going to be so useful for work. I can see about a dozen projects to use them on in the library already. 🙂

Do you get inspired by travel? By museums? By great art? If you do, definitely check out the amazing video, “All the art in London in one day.” Makes me tired and energized to travel all at the same time. Now I have the itch to book a trip to London, too!

And, if I can leave you with just one graphic design tip at the end of this short post of design inspiration, is this: if you decide to put a border on a sign or a flyer for your library, please consider what purpose it serves. Are you putting it there for decoration? Or does it serve a design purpose? Remember, we are always trying to communicate in the most clear way possible through our designs, not create framed art on paper. I just ask you to consider: do you need a border or do you need to rethink your design? I’ve been seeing borders pop up more regularly on library signs lately and I’m wondering why. So, that’s your design tip/thought for this Friday. If you have found uses for borders on your flyers and signs at your library, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave me a note in comments. 🙂

I hope September is treating you well, that you have a wonderful autumn in front of you, and that you are able to keep creating wonderful designs for your library and life. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Friday Design Short

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you are well and have a lovely weekend planned. Today’s design post is going to be short as I’ve been under the weather with another nasty summer cold this week. So instead of the post on redesign and branding that I had planned, which will hopefully be written next week, I’m going to share some design inspiration for the start of your September.

First, have you remembered to change up your desktop wallpapers for the month? If not, head over to the always fabulous Smashing Magazine post to change up your wallpapers. Love all the different designs for this month!

Also, for design inspiration, check out the wonderful series of park identity posters Michael Schwab created for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. (Sorry the link goes to their store, but it was the best way to see all the posters together.) If you are in the Bay Area, you can also see the posters as part of the Legion of Honor’s current exhibit, Wild West: Plains to the Pacific. Great reminder that simple and bold are almost always great design choices.

And finally, because it is the last long weekend of summer, check out Joy the Baker’s post for some lovely things to make and eat this weekend. I’m looking forward to hopefully feeling better and getting a lot of reading, writing, drawing, hiking, and relaxing in this weekend. How about you?

I’ll be back next week with more news and notes. Allons-y!

End of Summer Thoughts: Design and Otherwise

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope the end of August is going well for you and you have something grand planned for the end of summer (even if that is eating more watermelon before it turns into sweater weather). Today I wanted to share a few bits and bobs for the end of summer–design, books, and other things.

I apologize for not having a post out last Friday, but I was at a weeklong bookbinding intensive at San Francisco Center for the Book. It was absolutely fantastic and now I’m trying to figure out how I can find room in my itty, bitty space for crafts to hold bookbinding supplies. If you are in the area and ever have the chance to take some classes at SF Center for the Book, I highly recommend it. Both bookbinding and letterpress classes are great. Last week reinvigorated my love of crafting by hand, away from the computer. It was inspiring to work with such beautiful materials, to learn something new, and to connect with others who share my fascination with books and journals.

The workshop reminded me that we all need to have people to connect with who share our passions for designing, crafting, and creation. Talking with my classmates got me excited to think about ways to bring back what I’ve learned into my teaching and work at the library. Paper crafting for finals week? Sounds like fun to me! We all need to take time to recharge our creativity through learning from experts and talking with others. I’m so glad I had that opportunity this summer.

And summer should be a time for recharging and getting ready for the push to the end of the year (especially if your life revolves around the academic year, like mine does). So it seems fitting to share this Lifehacker article, What Psychology Teaches Us About Structuring the Workday. As we transition from summer into fall, it seems like we lose our laid back attitudes and replace them with stress. So we might as well use everything to our advantage to make our workday work for us, instead of against us, as much as possible.

While I love summer, there is something lovely about fall, too. Although it sometimes makes me sad as it ushers in the ending of another year, the one thing that never makes me sad is finding out there are a bunch of awesome books I can look forward to reading. So check out this guide to fantasy and science fiction books coming out this fall. Time to update my reading list.

Finally, if you are in the Bay Area this weekend and are a fan of pens, you should really go to the SF International Pen Show. It has an inexpensive admission and looks like it should be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to walking around this weekend as I try not to buy everything in sight!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of art, design, and lots of good times. I’ll be back with more news and notes soon. Allons-y!

Friday Design Fun

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has been grand. Mine has been a congested walk through a cold that just won’t quit. But I can’t complain because the weather has been glorious and I have enough energy for walking again, plus have some lovely inspiration to share with you today. So let’s dive in before we scamper away to our weekends!

First up, we all could use some design inspiration as we look at our calendars and see August slipping away and back-to-school season is upon us. So check out Smashing Magazine’s August Inspiration. So much beautiful work and ideas for new aesthetics and color palettes to try. Doesn’t it just make you want to start drawing?

Also is anyone else sick of reading all the articles, tweets, and posts that suggest we can only be happy if we quit our day jobs and go travel the globe? Yes? Not just me? If you are sick of it to, go read this lovely article: Dear Internet, Stop Telling Me to Quit My Job. Love it. 🙂 Reminder that we don’t all have to quit our jobs in order to have satisfying, creative, artistic, and fun lives.

But sometimes, when we are trying to become better at anything (everything?) in life, we can take on too much. Especially true if you are dipping your feet into the world of libraries and graphic design. There is so much to learn, so much to master, so much to do! When does anyone find the time? How do you do it all at once?

The answer is simple: you don’t. Check out this article on the scientific argument for mastering one thing at a time which also relates to the domino effect. It’s like my  mother always impressed on us as kids: you do the hard work and it gets easier and you can move on to the next thing. Don’t try to do everything at once, focus on one task and skill at a time and you’ll find that you’ll be able to master it and have the motivation to move onto the next thing. Sometimes, inertia can totally work in our favor (as long as we are already moving!).

If you still aren’t sold on Pokémon GO and its potential uses for libraries (so much design, marketing, and programming potential!), check out how to “Entice a Pokémon GO Player to become a Library User with these 5 Conversation Starters!” A bit dorky? Yes, but I’d expect nothing else from my lovely libraryland. Plus, we can laugh together and get people using the library, which is totally win-win. The article also links to a good guide to Pokémon GO if you aren’t sure what all the hype is about.

And, while not about librarian graphic designers or design inspiration, I wanted to share this TED article on why online privacy matters and how to protect yours as I know this is an issue dear to many librarians hearts and many of us teach about online privacy to our community members.

I hope you have a wonderful day and fabulous weekend! Go create something grand (and make your bed while you’re at it). I’ll be back with some concluding summer thoughts soon and some news. Allons-y!

Design Short: Summer is for Recharging

Happy Friday, dear readers! Has it been a long week? It’s certainly felt like a long week here. I hope you have something restful and restorative planned for the weekend because your brain, body, and creativity need it. Today, before we head out into the loveliness that is the weekend, I want to share a few things that might bring some sunshine into your day.

First, why the title of today’s post? Because summer is for recharging or at least it should be. We are all so crazy busy, hyper-connected during the rest of the year that it seems like summer is the only time when people collectively decide it is time to slow down, stop to chat, or actually have a glass of lemonade on the porch. But summer, like everything else, can be overridden by work and desires to cram more into the longer days, instead of just enjoying the longer days. And, to me, that’s a true pity. Summer is for breathing in the deep, heady scents of all the blooming flowers, for admiring the birds while hiking, for napping like a cat in a sunspot, and for absorbing new things so we have something in our creative souls to draw on when the work gets tough in the fall.

I was inspired by The Oatmeal’s post, Creativity is like breathing. (Note: parts of the post are not entirely safe for work if you work in an open office plan.) I agree completely, which is why I love the summer for recharging so I have something left to give to projects and to life. Your work, your life will be better for taking a break, really.

If you need more inspiration, check out this post on how a Gutenberg Printing Press Actually Works. As someone who does print on a vintage letterpress, I find it rather telling that the author of the post thinks they know how a printing press works and that it is easy. It may be a simple list of steps to remember to print on a press, but there is nothing about printing that is easy. It’s just the professions with years of experience who make it look easy.

In digital design, Smashing Magazine has another icon set for free, Olympics Sports Icon Set. Good for any related programming your library might be doing this summer.

And, if you need something tasty to make this weekend to celebrate summer, check out Joy the Baker’s Summer Tomato Pie recipe. I can’t wait to make this.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Friday (Before a Holiday) Fun

Happy Friday and Happy July 1st, dear readers! We are in the heart of summer now and it is a holiday weekend, at least here in the United States. So today, instead of a design short, I’ll be sharing a few lovely things (some design-related) to help you get into the summertime spirit.

First, as always, Smashing Magazine has another lovely post of wonderful wallpapers for July. Amazing artistry and some adorable designs this month, too. I’ve already picked mine out for my work computer. Luckily I have a dual-monitor set-up so I can pick two! 🙂

Speaking of calendars and months, Smashing Magazine has also released a set of free months & seasons icons. Beautiful and calming. You never know when a library design project will come along that you can use them for.

Do you live in an urban center? Are you all work and no play? When was the last time you got out in nature? Not to overgeneralize findings or go Chicken Little on you, dear reader, but if this article on stress causing premature aging in birds doesn’t make you pause, I’m not sure what will. So take it as a sign to slow down, have a glass of lemonade, and maybe go on that nature walk you’ve been putting off for months. I think we should all agree that July should be a month for being chill.

Finally, I know it’s a bit late, but have you heard of the One Book July Challenge (#onebookjuly2016)? No? I hadn’t either until I read about it on The Well-Appointed Desk, but I think it sounds fabulous! Who doesn’t want to pare down and simplify their life? This is a reasonable way to do it. The video below is from the creator of the challenge, Rhomany, who explains both the 1.0 and 2.0 versions of the challenge. Even though I’m a bit late to the challenge, I’m going to do the 2.0 challenge this month. Now if I could just figure out which project I want to focus on…

 

I hope you have a lovely, relaxing weekend, dear readers, filled with all the creativity, fun, and watermelon that you can get your hands on! I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, dear readers! It is the day before the long weekend, so I’m sure we’re all trying to finish up projects and to not stare at the clock. So today, instead of a design short (don’t worry, I’ll share more soon) or a long reflection about some aspect of librarianship (also working on a post about that), I’m sharing some fun to get you through your day.

First, I can’t seem to do a post without sharing something graphic design related, so here are two more awesome icon sets you might have missed from Smashing magazine: hotel & spa icon set (some of which might be useful for hours icons, etc. for the library)  and a musical instruments icon set (looks great for any music programs you may be co-sponsoring, etc.).

Also, I don’t know about you, but I love watching people make things with vintage machinery (not surprising given the fact I own a letterpress). So check out this post and video about making drop candy the old-fashioned way.

If you are having people over for brunch sometime during the long weekend, I can’t think of much of anything that sounds tastier than these carrot cake cinnamon rolls.

And finally, if you need an uplifting song to get you through the afternoon slump before you break free for your weekend, check out Andy Grammer’s “Good to be Alive.” It’s quite fun.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend full of lots of reading and good times. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! Most Tuesdays could use a little more fun, but I think the first Tuesday after Daylight Savings Times begins (at least for some of us) requires a lot of fun. For today, I have some lovely information and articles about books because there are few things more fun than a good book.

In case you missed it at the end of last year, check out this infographic on what happens to your body after you start reading a book. I especially love the tongue-in-cheek writing even as it reminds us how powerful books can be.

Also in the realm of books and fun, check out Gizmodo’s article about 16 fun, escapist books to read. Looks like I have more titles to put on my “to read” list. 🙂

Springtime is always birding time, so I’m especially enamored of this poster illustrating the birds of North America. It is lovely. Though I’d suggest taking a Sibley Guide into the field is more practical for identification.

I’ll be back soon with some thoughts on libraries and graphic design, as we are about to mount our spring exhibit, as well as other news and notes. Until then, happy reading! Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope you enjoyed your Leap Day and are ready for March! I am looking forward to Daylight Savings Time beginning and the start of spring. It is a good month. In celebration, let’s have a bit of fun today.

Who doesn’t like a good home library? No one who reads this blog, that’s for sure. I love having books around to read and to draw inspiration from. So I was in awe of this amazing home library and slightly jealous of what sounds like fabulous talks that happen in the middle of such a great collection. Check out this article and video on Cultivating curiosity in amazing home library. I think I need to go buy some more bookshelves.

It’s a new month and that means Smashing Magazine has released its monthly post of fantastic wallpapers for your desktop. They are beautiful and inspiring, as always. Take a few moments and refresh your desktop’s wallpaper. It’s the quickest bit of redecorating you can do.

Finally, check out this short, useful video from Lifehacker on how to pack for long trips. Spring makes me want to travel, so I couldn’t help but share this resource, too.

I hope you have a lovely Tuesday and rest of your week. I’ll be back soon with some more news and notes. Allons-y!