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18 Mar 2009 / Julie

from ugly to beautiful: a remake of library signage

For over a year now, MPOW has had a sign letting folks know that the website was always available even when the physical building was closed:

Before

The white space was for our many partner libraries to add their own URL. Few did.

I had been getting calls asking for more of the same sign. Apparently time was fading them. So I printed some more off. And then, i had an epiphany.

“The building may be closed…” implies that the building is CURRENTLY closed! And i doubt that libraries only hung this sign when they were closed.

New wording was in order and i came up with “Even when the building is closed, we’re always open online.” Which was much better, but didn’t totally sit well with me. Something was amiss.

This morning, i had remembered a post or article or something that showed the transformation of library signage. I could only remember the trees. Apparently ask and ye shall recieve- no sooner than i twittered my borked brain then i remembered i had starred it in my rss reader. I was remembering Aaron Schmidt’s “Beautiful > Ugly” post about signage design. Inspired, i sat down with paper and pencil and a few hours later had a gorgeous new sign. After

This time around, I was going to add the library’s URL in for them. The simple design informed the language, which was cut down to “we’re always open online.” No need to mention or imply that the building closes, we just want to promote the website(s).

I’m so very proud of this new sign and i hope that our partner libraries love it as much as i do.

It really is amazing what good design can for you. Just looking at the sign makes me feel good! Infinite possibilities good! And isn’t that what the library is all about?

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