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Strategy: Design Best Practices

Being consistent across all your marketing materials ensures audience recognition. Take some tips from our graphic designers and give your LibraryAware creations a professional look the easy way!

     1. Keep the design simple, clean, consistent, and clear.

  • Coordinate the colors you use and use no more than three.

  • Use fewer large images rather than many smaller images.

  • Leave enough white space or blank space around text and images.

     2. Consider who the audience will be.

  • Parents, teens, seniors, entrepreneurs, etc.

     3. Use the same layout for consistency.

  • Find flyer templates with a specific orientation by including "portrait" or "landscape" in your keyword search.

  • For newsletter issues, be sure to create new issues using the same format, instead of copying and pasting from previous issues.

  • Reuse the same fonts and colors, if required by your library, or change if you have more flexibility.

  • Remember to add a call to action for events or programs, such as "join us" or "register now."

  • Make sure social media posts also follow the same style. Consistency is key!

     4. Library branding helps your audience easily recognize your organization.

  • Consistency is also important in referencing your library and where you place your logo

  • Many LibraryAware templates include a branding block that will be filled with your library's name, address, phone number, website URL, and logo. To choose templates with a branding block, look for the grey "placeholder" area in the template thumbnail or preview.

   5. Photos can help communicate your brand style.

How do you want people to feel about your library? What is your brand style? Is it welcoming, fun, or maybe a bit edgy and modern? Photos can help communicate that.
  • Choose photos that evoke those emotions in a positive way. Be consistent to be effective.  

  • Use the same photo across all templates for the same event, including across social media platforms.

  • Choose photos where the subject is clear and well-lit.

  • Consider including various genders, ethnicities, and ages to appeal to a broader audience.

  • When selecting images, always use the highest available image resolution--higher resolution means more image clarity. Ideally, the image dimensions should be a minimum of 1800 x 1200 pixels or have a resolution of 300 dpi.

   6. Fonts help convey the mood or style of your program.

Use only designated branding fonts when required by your library. Otherwise use readable fonts that convey the mood or style of your program.

  • Effective design includes combinations of fonts that will not compete with one another. For example, two script fonts or two bold fonts used for both the headline and the body text will overwhelm the reader. 

  • Keep the number of fonts used to one or two.

  • Consider using the same fonts on every item to create a consistent and recognizable look, only changing out the main header font. 

  • Use a hierarchy of text blocks, moving from larger to smaller text:
      • Header (headlines or titles)
      • Subheader (subtitles or accent text)
      • Normal (body text)

  • Use no more than three different sizes of fonts.

  • Header (headlines or titles)

    • Larger font size using a bold or strong style that can be read some distance away.

    • Choose main headline fonts that reflect the template theme. For example, if it's a fun children's event, choose a more youthful font, like "Neucha". Or if it's a more serious theme, choose a simple font, like "Montserrat".

    • Script or decorative fonts can add creative flair.

  • Subheader (subtitles or accent text)

    • Make the subtitle or accent text smaller than your headline or title.

  • Normal (body or paragraph text)

    • Choose simple, sans serif fonts that are easy to read.

    • Make your body text smaller and regular font weight (not bold).

  • Choose colors that have high contrast against the background for easy reading. Be sure to check your contrast with a contrast checker to meet accessibility guidelines.

    • White background: choose darker and bolder colors. Consider matching the artwork or photos on the template.

    • Dark background: choose white or lighter colors.

     7. Tips for choosing colors.

The colors you choose for headers and other sections may be determined by your library’s branding. Always follow those guidelines. For those allowed to select additional colors, here are some tips:  

  • Choose colors found in the photos or graphics of your template.

  • Choose colors that evoke the style or feel of the event or topic.    

    • Bright colors for a fun and playful feel.

    • Darker, muted colors for a more serious or professional feel.

  • Use colors with high contrast for an easy-to-read and accessible look. Be sure to check your contrast with a contrast checker to meet accessibility guidelines.

    • White background: choose darker and bolder colors.

    • Dark background: choose white or lighter colors

  • Use no more than three different colors to avoid a cluttered, busy look.

Have a design tip to share? We'd love to hear from you!

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