|Iconic Las Vegas Sign (courtesy of Pixaby)|
We have a ton of signs in LibraryLand - probably too many. And we've all seen the websites and blogs devoted to silly, useless, and entirely negative library signs. I've certainly created my share of "don't even think about it" signs during my years as a librarian. So - as fun as that could be - I'm not going to rehash those. Instead I want to focus on how our library signs can be more effective.
The San Jose Public Library has made their Signage Design Guidelines available online - it's a marvelous document that describes their journey to create customer-centered signage. What they discovered along the way can help all libraries - big and small:
- be consistent with names of library departments, collections & destinations
- less is more when it comes to the number of signs in your library
- keep signs concise for users to read while moving
- keep in-depth signage in wait areas only
- merchandise library materials face out to minimize the signage needed
- pictures & graphics speak volumes
- have a consistent use of signage hierarchy (primary, secondary, tertiary & collateral)
- language translation is not critical with primary signage
- have a recognized "look and feel" to your library signs
- use odd shapes & sizes with your signs
- staff training is essential to incorporate these new principles into practice
Many thanks to my hubbie, John, for coming up with the title for this post.
Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development