The Role of Branding & Design in a Library Environment

Presenter: Naira Santana

Submitted by Sandra Bebbington

Naira Santana,  graphic designer and owner of Atelier Paloma, presented an informative and interesting presentation on branding and design in the library at the ABQLA Conference in May. She has been working with Westmount Public Library on their branding and design projects since 2002. Naira gave us a clear idea of all the different aspects that graphic design covers and all things to keep in mind when examining or embarking on your library’s branding and design projects.

How something is designed can have a major impact on it’s success. Naira demonstrated this by showing  an example a voting ballot and how design can influence election results.

According to Naira, branding is “the name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers”. A brand leaves a lasting impression and helps people remember you when you are no longer there. Things to keep in mind when developing are: a brand is a visual way of expressing identity and the experience one will have if they use your product. It is a way of also demonstrating you, your association or company’s values. Branding is what will engage people and motivate them to buy your product or use your service.

Graphic design, according to Naira, is ”the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image”. Graphic design consists of two main components: the image and the content (For example on a poster). Important things to remember when working on graphic design projects is that form follows function and that being “pretty`’ should not be the priority. The ideal process for graphic design projects includes: establishing your brand, incorporating your personality, having a clear message, recognizing your limitations and knowing your audience. Naira also mentioned the importance of choosing the right colors and fonts to convey your message (For example, yellow conveys optimism). Consistency is also key.

Naira’s presentation was insightful and very informative. It gave us much food for thought and practical suggestions for when we return to our libraries and begin to look at our own branding and design and what we can do to improve our patron’s experience.