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project case study

Beaumont Library Visual Identity

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summary

The Challenge

Beaumont Library (aka Bibliothèque de Beaumont Library, as a Francophone community) came to us needing an update to their visual identity. Primarily, the Library needed a timeless mark with a bit of energy to attract Beaumont’s younger demographic – and further to that, a system for application across a variety of mediums.

The Solution

The end result is a mark that takes inspiration from the primary defining architectural feature of the building itself – the keyhole window – alongside literal, stylized representation of books. Combined, these elements create a timeless mark that, when applied as part of a system in the bright green & blues colour palette, has just the right amount of youthfulness.

What We Delivered

  • Brand, Competitive, & Customer Research
  • Logo Design
  • Full Visual Identity System
  • Stationary & Print Design
  • Social Media Assets
  • Brand Guidelines Book
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The Details

The Beaumont Library is a cornerstone of the small Alberta community – however, the visual representation of the Library needed realignment. Specifically, the visual identity didn’t align with the Board’s vision for the building, and it wasn’t connecting with the younger demographic of Beaumont. With a notably younger median age compared to neighbouring communities, that connection with the younger demographic was integral to the Library’s growth & continued position as community cornerstone.

With that in mind, we set out with one main goal: a timeless logo, combined with an easy-to-use visual identity system around that mark, that balanced maturity and professionalism with energy and attractiveness to that younger demographic.

The Process

After a kickoff to unpack details around the community, problems to solve and more, we dove right into research and creative direction. We included the client in a collaborative moodboarding session, using Pinterest as a method to collect potential inspiration, discuss it, and further determine the proper direction to head down feel-wise. Using this method ensured the client’s voice was heard, while also avoiding the misunderstandings that can crop up when trying to verbally describe visual design style.

Once we had a clear creative path understood by both parties, we dove into rough sketches and exploration of visual representations of the Library. The goal of rough sketching is to brainstorm quickly and roughly – to see which ideas have potential. Following this process ensures time isn’t wasted polishing solutions that don’t work, while also ensuring we’re exploring a wide range of potential ideas.

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Everyone wanted to avoid ham-handed allusions to libraries, and create something unique to the Beaumont Library. We explored systems relating to shelving, weaving, and community; to a custom typeface built around the idea of connection and more. By working through these ideas, bringing in colour, and roughing in some ideas around application of the system on items like bags, posters, and more, we were starting to get an idea of what was working and what wasn’t.

Sometimes, the distinction is small.

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After exploring some of these ideas with the client, we kept coming back to one core idea: mixing identifying elements of the building itself alongside subtle references to libraries, knowledge, and learning. That’s when the lightbulb really went on.

The Mark

The Library building has a very defining architectural element: the keyhole window. It’s a super recognizable part of the building. What would happen if we stylized that, and combined it with a minimalist book rendering, to make the uniquely identifiable mark for the brand? Here’s the result:

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As soon as everyone saw it, it became clear: we had just found the Beaumont Library’s new mark. Combining a nod to the space itself with the allusion to learning and materials within the space, and executed with timeless design principles and energetic colours, the target had been hit.

The System

The system around the mark mixes bold design with heritage elements. The punchy cyan, apple, and navy colour palette, combined with oversized and angled placement of the mark, uses contrast and energy to make a bold statement. This style is paired with typesetting influenced by the library cards of old: grid-based type layouts, with defined boundaries and systems, like we used to find on the inside cover of books we all checked out as kids. In the end, the two styles mesh perfectly to give a nod to the past while bridging the gap to the younger demographic.

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Summary

When this project started, both ourselves and our (great) clients at the Library knew the goal: a timeless but energetic identity that was unique to the Beaumont Library. Through frequent and honest communication, teamwork, iterative design, and trust, the end result is an identity that not only Beaumont Library can be proud of, but one the entire community can be proud of.

Getting things perfect with a visual identity is no small task. With Paper Leaf, it went beyond perfection to pure inspiration.

Martin Walters

Library Manager, Beaumont Library

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