Two Things to Do This Weekend

One, the Ballard Block Party on Saturday, the 19th from 10 am to 3 pm.  Lots of free activities for the kids.


Two, take the (kinda funny) Seattle Public Libraries survey.  Apparently their "brand" needs updating but it's your library so give them your input.   I took the survey myself and boy, do I dislike the three considered logos.  I wish there was some great graphic designer out there to give better suggestions.  (Number two is the worst.) 


Thanks Melissa. I took the library survey and left a fairly scathing review of both the statement (so much ad-biz BS) and all three logos. I cannot believe they paid someone to create those.
And I know that you would know (with your professional background).
Jet City mom said…
I agree. ( with the library rebranding. I particularly took issue with the " mission statement".
I think librarians are playing social workers too much as it is, to expect them to " empower" users.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reposting for Anonymous

"I liked the first and third logos. I see lots of symbolic representation of the library, the city, and the region in them. The brand statement was way too bland. It could apply to a hundred different organizations/companies just by replacing "the library" with something else. It sounds like a committee wrote it, it's so safe and meaningless!"

My comment: The things I didn't like about #s 1 & 3 were that it was too much about the downtown branch when it seems their whole push is ALL the libraries. Hence the switch to plural rather than singular. It also did not balance well with the type. I can only imagine how much money they spent on this—thousands I imagine.
Anonymous said…
Re: Seattle Public Library...I thought all the new logos were hideous. #2 was by far the worst. It may have been relevant in 1962 at the time of the 1962 World's Fair -Century 21. The other two were just identical but with different colors, the orange was awful I understand the need to update the logo and maybe I am old school here but a rendering of Mt. Rainier or a Douglas Fir or the Olympics in relief would work. However a branding the public library seems a bit much. And even the New York City Public Library calls itself The New York Public Library -not plural.

Longtime lurker

GarfieldMom said…
Sorry, that anonymous was me, posting from iPad isn't always user friendly. Thanks for preserving it, Andrea!

And see, I think that the windows of the downtown library are so iconic at this point, why not use that image to represent the whole system? I didn't like the switch to plural anyway; we all know the library is much more than the central branch, it doesn't need to be pointed out to us in so many words.

I thought the designs in one and three went well with the type; it's a much more contemporary image and font than previously, which I like -- but it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, obviously. The lines, while evoking the downtown windows, also are connected, much as our library system is connected. The immediate ideas that sprang to mind when I saw the first and third logos were windows, Native American art, the geographic shape of Seattle (abstracted), and the strong emphasis on distinct neighborhoods that we have. It at least kicks butt on logo two, which could be used for a software company, an energy company, a consulting firm...nothing about it says library or Seattle. It really is awful.

I'm wondering if the orange was a tip to the Sonics' bronze shade from the pre-2000s logo, the color of the original roof of the Space Needle (which they brought back for the anniversary), or maybe the Wheedle. Orange is a nice complement to the city's green. On the other hand, orange is most people's least favorite color, if I recall correctly. The green in logo three keeps it more traditional in terms of Seattle's usual colors and probably soothes the souls of people who don't like change.

And of course the library has a brand, and possibly needs new branding to keep up with how libraries have grown in their functions. They have a brand whether they choose to define and refine it or not -- everything they put out is their "brand." Better to put some thought into it than just let the brand become a mishmash of vague impressions.

Geez, I didn't think I cared this much about the library branding!
Christina said…
With the blue, orange and gray color combination, one'd almost think The Seattle Public Library was hoping to emulate Seattle Public Schools' palette. I'm not a fan of sans serif, but apparently mobile devices are THE THING, and designers are abandoning serifs in logos to better adapt to mobile devices. Not a fan of blue and grey together either, too institutional/reformatory/industrial. I shudder at the yellow-green in #3, but maybe that too is just me. I feel Seattle needs bright colors more widely distributed along the spectrum, not just lichen/moss/leaf/slug motif.
Anonymous said…
I left scathing comments on the whole rebranding adventure. The potential logos are batsh*t crazy. So faddish. More appropriate for a laser company or a bioinformatics biotechnology company whose stock and trade is DNA.

I pointed out switching from Library to Libraries will beg the comparison of which neighbourhood has more and why does Ballard have a bigger, newer, better one than Columbia, for example. I can hear the hew and cry about equity! No, they should not go there. It is one Library SYSTEM - keep it as singular, and, more importantly, don't waste everyone's time with this nonesense.

I wonder if this is indicative of the Library leadership these days, excessive navel gazing and change for the sake of change that is actually meaningless or possibly even destructive?

I wished they did the outreach about Overdrive and how to up electronic materials available and how to get middle schools into the reading bug with downloads of awesome books!


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