Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WLA 2006: Creating Dynamic Library Atmospheres

What we can learn from museums, theater, retail, and the Container Store

Ted Swigon, Consultant
Sally Decker Smith, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling IL

"When a solution to a problem is obvious, the problem is solved."

"What's Up Upstairs?" sign

Keep in mind context and perspective. Work with your building. Put things where they make sense.

Purple neon sign is highlighted by painting the wall behind it purple.

Color is one of your greatest allies and cheapest friends.

Letterforms are meant to be read. The best way to camouflage text is by placing it on a multicolored backgrounds.

KISS: Keep it simple stupid.

Shelving that reflects the space where the shelves sit.

Think like a museum.

If the furniture doesn't last 50 years, that gives you a chance to rethink and replace.

There are very good solutions that are out of the ordinary and are out there for the noticing and taking.

Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping by Paco Underhill

Using lighting gels (in sheets and tubes) to highlight locations.

Where to start?
Look around! What's working? What's not?
Bring in someone who hasn't been to your library and ask them to walk through it with you. How do they see things? Can they find stuff?

Identifying the problem is half the solution.

Have an idea? Stop. Think.

What's your goal?
What catches your eye in stores, on stage? Can you adapt it to your situation?
Look around to see what will be competing with your new stuff
Who is your intended audience?
Is your display 2-d or can it be 3-d?
Somewhere in your building has more artristic talent than you realize -- find it and use it.

Keep it simple.
Use a modest number of colors. The focus should be on the materials.
Choose no more than 3 fonts for all signs created in-house. 2-3 fonts for headlines; one font for text. Make sure everyone who makes signs knows.
Having similar things match creates a more professional atmosphere. How many kinds of wastebaskets do you have in public areas?

This is lots of fun and very thought-provoking, but I have to leave. Sorry.

No comments: