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Barrington Area Library Hits The Refresh Button With Help From Design Student

For Immediate Release
For More Information: Karen McBride, Public Information Manager, Barrington Area Library, 847-382-1300 X 205, kmcbride@balibrary.org

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Barrington Area Library Hits The Refresh Button
With Help From Design Student



At a time when people are just as likely to visit the library to hear live music, use a computer, or view world class art, how does a public library spread the word that books are only one part of its mission? 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.

Familiar with the Harrington College of Design in Chicago, Pansch asked Sharon Doty, the library's Public Information Manager at the time, to contact the school with an interesting proposal: would an instructor be willing to give students course credit for their work in designing a potential new brand for the library? A willing instructor was found and three students set to work visiting the library, learning about its architecture and vision for library services in the future, then putting their ideas onto paper and pixels. If a suitable design came to light, the exercise would be the proverbial win-win. The Barrington Area Library would have a new brand identity, free of charge, and a young art student would have a professional success story for a future portfolio.

When the final projects were presented, the design work of Kasey Dasko of Glen Ellyn, IL, stood out above the rest. "Her design just popped. It is elegant yet easy to comprehend. It's also format-neutral, so it will work equally well in print and online," Pansch explains. The design features a simple rendering of the words "Barrington Area Library," all in lowercase letters, with a distinctive, bright green "b" that Dasko drew by hand. The design student selected the green color, which she calls "Barrington Lively," believing it would inspire creativity and imagination. Her efforts included not just a new logo and color scheme but a complete style guide, with detailed instructions for applying the look on everything from a Web page to a window envelope. Dasko made a formal presentation of her work at the January 2011 Board of Trustees meeting and the library board enthusiastically praised and approved her concept.

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. Current Public Information Manager Karen McBride explained, "We are excited about the new brand but don't want to be wasteful. We will phase in newly designed pieces, most of which are regularly budgeted items, as needed." One very important item, 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 rebranding. Kasey Dasko helped us choose the color for the van that would work perfectly with her design," stated Pansch. The Friends raised the money for the van via their used book sales and have been given prominent acknowledgement 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," stated McBride.

Customization work on the van was completed on June 20 and the public will get a good look at it when the van is featured in the Barrington 4th of July parade. "The van, our t-shirts and banner, and even the stickers on the candy we're giving away all feature our new design. We will definitely be the coolest kids in the parade!" laughs McBride. Capping off the first phase of the rollout will be the introduction of a new library Web site on July 5. McBride continues, "The entire Web site is being redesigned in a way that will make it much more user-friendly and easier to update and expand." Many other elements of the redesign, such as letterhead stationery and library signage, are being completed in-house, adding to the cost savings of the plan. Later in the summer, the library's new brand will debut in its "Check It Out" newsletter and on library cards.

For more on this story, see:
Daily Herald, 6/27/2011, "Barrington Library Logo gets a makeover."

Barrington Courier Review, 6/28/2011, "Library logo design reflecting changing times."

Photos available at: http://www.balibrary.org/images/Logo_Story


Photo captions: Former Library Board of Trustees President Lawrence J. Weiner Congratulates Kasey Dasko On Her Winning Logo Design

New Barrington Area Library Logo As Designed By Student Kasey Dasko

The award-winning Barrington Area Library is located at 505 N. Northwest Highway, Barrington, IL, 60010. The library serves the largest library district in the state of Illinois, covering 72 square miles and including all or parts of
Algonquin, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Hoffman Estates, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Zurich, North Barrington, Palatine, Port Barrington, South Barrington, Tower Lakes, and some unincorporated areas. More information can be found on the library Web site: balibrary.org.