library marketing

Use Piktochart Photo Frames For Quick, Eye-Catching Digital Signage

Filling our digital signage is a constant point of stress for me. I hate when content goes stale, don’t you? Every week I receive free, high-res photos from Unsplash. I use these photos for creative inspiration, but sometimes they work out just great for marketing. The sad little pug was in this week’s Unsplash email and I couldn’t resist his face. I think a lot of my students can relate to his look of distress (especially as we careen towards semester’s end). I created the two images below using Piktochart Photo Frames.

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Fun fact: Don’t Carry It All is the name of a song by one of my favorite bands, The Decemberists. Thanks for the inspiration, Colin!

Facebook Rolled Out Reactions and I Won Wednesday

Yesterday Facebook rolled out its newest feature…reactions. In addition to liking posts, users now have the option to love, laugh, hate, and more. As I scrolled through my news feed, I saw a post from Radiolab that added headphones to the reaction faces and morphed them into an advertisement for their show. I was instantly inspired and made my own advertisement promoting librarian services as a way to ameliorate the emotions that users experience while going through the research process.

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I’m pretty proud of this one. Not only is it super timely, but it also hearkens back to Carol Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process. I shared the ad in an ACRL library marketing Facebook group and it’s already been adapted by a number of other libraries. And the post has nearly 200 likes!

 

Marketing The Library As An Experience

It was a whirlwind academic year. I don’t think I’ve ever been busier with classes, student appointments, marketing, and all the other joys of academic librarianship. Now that it’s over, I have set my sights set on our incoming freshmen class. Here at OWU we require incoming freshmen to attend one of three 2-day sessions we call StART (Student Advising, Registration, and Testing). It’s the first opportunity for many campus faculty and staff to interact with students in person (of course, I’ve already infiltrated their Facebook group *evil laugh*). StART attendees receive a folder that includes all sorts of checklists and helpful campus information. I’ve made some significant revisions to this year’s OWU Libraries informational handout.

It’s now a 4 page, 5.5 inch x 4.25 inch booklet. Portions of the layout and design were inspired by a booklet created for the Columbus Coffee Experience.

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This is the cover. The booklet will be tucked inside a folder full of other informational materials, so I wanted to be sure it was a) small enough to have to go in the front and b) had something interesting at the top that would make students want to read it.

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This is page 2. I highlighted the most important services for students in the larger text and was able to feature all our campus libraries and some other key spaces and events in the smaller text. And, of course, I put our most valuable resource, our librarians, in red, all caps text.

Page 3 includes real student testimonials meant to showcase how each student can benefit from the library in a unique way – whether it’s from using resources, having access to scanners, or finding a quality study space.

The back cover promotes a photograph opportunity at the Libraries information table on the first day of each StART event.

The back cover encourages students to visit the Libraries information table on the first day of each StART event.

I’m pretty pleased with my work on this booklet. I designed it using Piktochart and had it printed by OWU’s own print services staff (who are amazing, by the way). I hope it will encourage OWU students to find their own space, librarian, and resources within the libraries.

Design School On A Budget (Which Is To Say…Free)

I’m always looking for design inspiration these days. I’m using my phone to snap pictures of everything from postcards to book covers, concert posters to clothing tags, food labels to directional signage, and more. The other day I was noodling about in our art stacks when I happened across this graphic design book:

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

At this very moment, it’s sitting next to my keyboard full of those tiny post-it notes used to bookmark pages. It covers design and typography with a wealth of examples from famous designers, brands, and design companies dating as far back as 1876.

So far I’ve made two objects based on things I’ve seen in this book. The first is a poster for an upcoming library event designed in the style of the cover of a 1950 issue of the British publication Typographica:

Live@LibraryTeaser (1)The second is an image for use on Facebook and in our Screenly playlist that runs on a flat screen tv next to the help desk (more on Screenly in a future post):

This isn't based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I'm learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

This isn’t based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I’m learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

The images were, of course, created using Piktochart. I plan to continue to use this book to help me design learning objects for the classroom, marketing materials, library signage, and more.

On a side note, the authors of Graphic Design Referenced include this note in their introduction:

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I can’t say I disagree with their decision.

We Went Piktochart PRO!

OWU Libraries has Piktochart PRO status. This means no more Piktochart watermark, high resolution downloads, printer-friendly options, and access to a bunch of sweet templates. I’m going to go on a library/librarians/library services advertising binge (more to come on why later).

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

For Your Visual Pleasure

Follow me on Instagram.

I’m slowly building content. I decided to take a few pictures of informational posters and signs around the library and campus because I figure Instagram can be yet another place to deliver information to students. And maybe they’re not the hippest and most mind-blowing pieces of photographic art, but, hey, they get the job done, amiright?

My next venture is an Instagram/prize wheel game for tomorrow’s Freshmen Orientation Fair. More to come!

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The library has some…odd titles.

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Photos and hashtags on Instagram are a great way to reach out to other campus groups!

 

Time to Make the Buttons

Over the next few weeks I will spend a lot of time in Microsoft Publisher and Paint, my design arsenal when it comes to button giveaways. I’m sure there are far more advanced programs I could be using, but this primitive tool belt suits me just fine. I will have buttons available for StART (OWU’s testing and registration event in early summer), Freshmen Orientation, and many other beginning of school year events/activities.

I use the 2-1/4 inch Button Machine by Neil Enterprises. I’ve had it for well over a year now and it is still in perfect condition. The press is very heavy duty and I only recently had to change the rotary cutter’s blade (spare blades are included in the kit). I purchased a 1000 piece button making supply package alongside the machine and still have plenty to last through the 2014/2015 academic year. This high-quality product and its companion supplies are well-worth the price.

As far as actual design goes, I am not limited to creating library-related buttons. The buttons are less a marketing product for our library and librarians, but another chance to connect with students. My hope is that a student will pin a button to her shirt or bag and when her friend asks, “Hey, where did you get that awesome button?” she’ll say, “My librarian gave it to me!”

I’ve had limited success polling students for button ideas via Facebook or otherwise, so I usually rely on my own pop culture knowledge or the suggestions of my colleagues. I rarely make more than 20 of a particular design so I can assess student response.

Some of my designs:

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