Happy Friday, dear readers! Can you believe we are almost finished with the first month of 2020?! I can’t. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by, how much I want to accomplish this year, and how often I already feel behind, which is just not a lovely place to be.
And, I know, I know, this blog has been on radio silence for a while.
I want that to change this year.
I’ll also let you in on a little secret as to part of why I’ve been silent on this blog for a while: It feels like no one cares about what I care about in libraries.
It’s not that design isn’t talked about all the time, especially design thinking. And that’s great, but my passion is about on-the-ground, every day creating great graphic design to communicate with our communities and with each other as part of the library ecosystem. And it often seems that very few people care about learning about graphic design, implementing even the smallest changes that can have such a big impact, and seeing it as part of what we do and how we show we care.
And that’s hard.
I’ve done research, written a book, spoken about it, written on this blog so much and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. At times it feels like no one wants to stop and think about design, people just want to slap something in a template and move on without any desire to customize it for their particular context at all. And that makes me sad and frustrated and wondering why I keep doing this work.
But then I remember that it’s important. It’s important to show up and show that I care through what I create. That what I create reflects on my library and my colleagues and I always want that to be positive, professional, and welcoming. That it’s important even if it is a slog most of the time.
It’s a new year and if you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty stubborn (or tenacious, depending on how generous the person is who is describing my personality), so I’m back, again, to share with whoever cares the little design things we can do to make our libraries better for everyone.
And I remind myself, everything is new for someone. My daughter reminds me that constantly and also reminds me that clarity is key and kind to learning. That making a difference to one person is sometimes enough. That you never know who you will touch and who will remember years later.
So to that end, look for short design ideas and tips on Fridays. My commitment to those of us who still want to learn about design and apply it to our libraries.
This week, just wanted to show that even when you use a template, you can take the time to customize it, brand it, and make it work for your library.
The above sign was made with Adobe Spark, but customized by coloring the text to match the dark background on the middle image (along with changing the default font, font size, and alignment) and playing around with the scale of the images to create a striking sign for our Popular Reading Collection. The goal was to make it easy to locate our newly configured Popular Reading Collection, along with inviting readers in with inviting and intriguing images. Templates are fine, but they’re always better customized and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
I hope you feel refreshed and inspired this year. We have another 11 months to make great things and to do it in service of others. So let’s go forth, even if it seems like we are designing and shouting in a void. Because it isn’t a void if there is one other person who cares. I do and I hope you still do to.