(Est. 1896) “Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs a year. It consists of 65 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.”
Doublespace (New York, NY)
The new logo uses two- and three-dimensional space to express both the physical and cultural characteristics of Queens Public Library. In two dimensions, the mark is the letter Q, referencing the name of the institution and its borough. In three dimensions, the logo houses both an open book and an open doorway, extending our promise to the public to welcome everyone who comes through our doors.
The logo seamlessly nests into a facet pattern that represents the borough’s urban grid as well as the multitude of perspectives that comprise the library’s staff, people, and resources.
The tagline embodies the library’s commitment to welcoming everyone and respecting their wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We speak immigrant, tech, DACA, chess, business, dance, romance, gardening, Spanish, Urdu, Russian, LGBTQ, and countless others, and are here to help everyone get what they need.
To engage all the people who visit and work at the library, we created a series of “We Speak” signs that everyone can personalize to share the interests and issues that speak to them.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo had good intentions but wasn’t great. The book with a wing was awkward and the wordmark wasn’t very exciting and looked old. The new logo gives the library a much more contemporary personality with a bold monogram that easily reads as a big “Q”. Less evident at first glance is the intended open book and doorway mentioned in the quote BUT, once mentioned, I can’t stop seeing the book and it’s pleasant. The doorway? Sure, why not? The wordmark is nice and okay, playing a decent supporting role. In application, the facet pattern can be a little too much while also feeling dated somehow — like a late 1990s early 2000s brochure system. It works well when it’s a subtle light background for the logo to rest on while the purple and color arrows become overpowering. Nonetheless, it does sort of convey and capture the density and vibrancy of the library. The “We Speak” tagline is a little corny but, sure enough, effective in being inclusive and encompassing. Overall, seems like a solid and successful effort to infuse the library with some new energy.
Thanks to Jon Scheiber for the tip.