The Barrington Area Library has used a variety of logos, color schemes and publications -- from newsletters to Web pages -- in its 96-year history, all of which have helped define and elaborate upon its role within the community.
In late 2010, Executive Director Detlev Pansch felt strongly that it was time to hit the refresh button on the library's public information materials.
"We needed a fresh start, an identity that accurately represented this as a 21st century library," said Pansch, noting that today's library is about "so much more than books." However, with no money in the budget for professional design work, a creative approach to the problem was required.
The library approached the Harrington College of Design in Chicago, and an instructor willing to make it a student project was found. Three students set to work visiting the library, learning about its architecture and vision for library services in the future. They put their ideas onto paper and pixels.
When the final projects were presented, the design of Kasey Dasko of Glen Ellyn, "just popped," Pansch said. "It is elegant yet easy to comprehend. It's also format-neutral, so it will work equally well in print and online."
With an eye toward fiscal and environmental responsibility as well as fine design, the library plans a phased rollout of the design over the coming months.
A brand new delivery van, also came as a gift to the library, a generous donation from the Friends of the Barrington Area Library.
"It just happened to fall into place that we really needed a new vehicle at the time we were ready to launch the re-branding. Kasey Dasko helped us choose the color for the van that would work perfectly with her design," Pansch stated.
The Friends raised the money for the van via their used book sales and have been given acknowledgment of their donation on the van's back door. "Every time you're driving behind our van on the streets of Barrington, you'll be reminded of how the hard work and dedication of our Friends benefit the library and its users," said Karen McBride, the library public information manager.
Customization of the van was completed June 20 and the public will see it in featured in the Barrington 4th of July parade.
The first phase of the rollout will be the introduction of a new library website on July 5. "The entire website is being redesigned in a way that will make it much more user-friendly and easier to update and expand," McBride said.
Other elements of the redesign, such as letterhead stationery and library signage, are being completed in-house. Later in the summer, the library's new brand will debut in its "Check It Out" newsletter and on library cards.