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!
  • Keep the design simple, clean, consistent, and clear.
   o  Coordinate the colors you use and use no more than three.

   o  Use fewer large images rather than many smaller images.

   o  Leave enough white space or blank space around text and images.
  • Consider who the audience will be (parents, teens, entrepreneurs, etc.).
  • Use the same layout for consistency. For newsletter issues, be sure to create new issues using the same format, instead of copying and pasting from previous issues. 


o  Swap out the photo or imagery keeping the rest of the template the same.



o  Reuse 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!
Library name and logo placement:

Consistency is also important in referencing your library and where you place your logo. This helps your audience easily recognize your organization.


  • Most LibraryAware templates include a branding block with your library's name, address, phone number, website URL, and logo.


  • If using a blank template for an item that should include your branding, be sure to select one with the gray placeholder image at the bottom (the template on the right in the above picture), unless directed otherwise by your library.
  • For items that your library has approved to be created without your library's branding, you may use a blank template without the gray branding block placeholder image (the template on the left in the above picture). 
Photos:

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.
Typography:

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. Too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing!

  • Use a hierarchy of text blocks, moving from larger to smaller text:
   o  Header (headlines) 

   o  Subheader 

   o  Normal (body text)


Font styling 
  • 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: 
               o  If it's a fun children's event, choose a more youthful font,  like “Neuch 

              o  If it's a more serious theme, choose a simple font, like “Monsterrat 

Subheader:
  • For subtitles or accent text, script fonts (cursive) can add creative flair.  
o  Make the subtitle or event dates smaller than your headline or title--it can remain bold and/or in a different font or color.

Normal
  • Body or paragraph text: Choose simple fonts that are easy to read. 

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


► Pro tip: Combining font styles can create a busy, hard to read item. 
  • Keep the number of font families under two or three.  

  • Use no more than three different sizes of fonts. 


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


Font Colors
  • 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. 
  o  White background--choose darker and bolder colors. Consider matching the artwork or photos on the template

  o  Dark background--choose white or lighter colors


Overall Color Selection

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:    



If you have more flexibility with colors, seek inspiration from your content.
  • Choose colors found in the photos or graphics on your template.
Choose colors that evoke the style of your event:
  • Bright colors for playful events.
  • Darker, muted colors for more serious or professional events.

Use colors that have high contrast against each other for a cleaner, easy-to-read look:
  • Dark or black against light or white backgrounds
  • Light or white against dark background

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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