When it comes to library branding, you are more than just a logo. Libraries play a vital role in the community and the lives of your students or patrons, and as a library brand you need to consistently express your mission, value and offerings. Branding can be tough, and creating a consistent brand that extends into both the physical and digital space is a challenge. In the commercial world, many companies turn to advertising agencies to assist in branding. However, chances are relying on the expertise of an advertising team is not a possibility. If you work at an academic library, you will also need to be cognizant of the existing brand of your college or university.

Make it Easy

Library branding doesn’t need to be overcomplicated or require an expensive advertising team. Following a few simple exercises and understanding which tools can assist in your library branding can help you build a strong and consistent presence.

Proper library branding is critical as it represents the sum of your users’ perception and your service and reputation. Library branding is important to retain users, it provides clear direction and motivation to your employees and plays a vital role in acquiring new library users.

When it comes to your library branding, the digital brand experience your users have is just as important, if not more important, than the physical.

To determine your library branding and application of branding, try these exercises.

Exercise #1: Explore Brands You Like
  • Pick a favorite brand or brands
  • Examine their marketing, advertising, website, social media, brand story and overall look and feel and voice
  • Jot down what you like about their branding and note if it is consistent across channels
Exercise #2: Establish Your Identity & Outline your library brand in the following areas:
  • Logo
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Culture
  • Design
  • Communication
Exercise #3: Evaluate the Current State of Your Library Brand
  • The physical library environment – inside library, entrances, shelves, rooms, circulation desk, etc.
  • The physical community – print advertising, signage, in-person events, etc.
  • Social media – imagery, tone, types of content you post on your own and repost from others
  • The website and digital tools – color schemes, imagery, fonts, mobile display vs. desktop

Evaluate whether your library brand is consistent across these channels and where you need to improve.

Expand Library Branding into the Digital Space

The digital library brand experience your users have is just as important as (if not more important than) the physical. Your library website is most likely the first impression that current and prospective users have of your library, and there are key digital elements on your website to ensure brand consistency.

Knowing what those elements are requires research and education in web design. In our latest webinar with our partner Stacks, we tackle the idea of overall branding, but we also dive into the digital components that are necessary to fine-tune library branding in the online world.