(Est. 1884) “Toronto Public Library is the busiest urban public library system in the world [ — we had more than 17.5 million visits to our 100 branches.] Every year, we have millions of users visiting our branches and taking advantage of our online services. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and global knowledge economy. With expanded access to technology, lifelong learning and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, Torontonians have increased opportunities for growth and success, as well as stronger connections to each other and their communities.
Trajectory (Toronto, ON)
The new identity platform is designed for optimum flexibility and visibility. Based on TPL’s brand promise of Activate Something Great, the colon-based “activator” acts as a connector for all the diverse opportunities and experiences the library creates for individuals, communities and the city as a whole. Created for today’s dynamic media, the program has been built to anticipate emerging applications like augmented reality and virtual reality as well.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo was typeset in loosely-spaced Gill Sans Extra Bold and that should say everything bad there is to say about it. Just: no. The two swooshes probably mean something but without knowing what that meaning is they just sat there, kind of randomly. The new logo is better but only because the old one was so bad. I will assume that Torontonians call it “tpl” and that that drove the change to the new acronym approach which could potentially be fine in another execution but the all lowercase approach with the forced ligature is neither interesting nor appealing. It’s as if Lineto Circular and Museo Slab had a puppy, which I now see is not a cross-breed you want. Then there is the colon… eh. It’s not a transcendental concept and there is no real flow to its use in the logo or even in the identity. It sounds good on paper — The Connector! — but it’s just not that interesting. The “tpl:” in the circles with the things is not very interesting either and bland in execution. The applications are a little all over the place and the layouts are busy and confusing plus all the lowercase gets annoying… especially when representing an organization that’s all about words on paper. The blue signage, while probably on a tight budget, is kind of sad. Overall, given the vibrancy of the library system and how much it’s used, the identity should have been a lot more exciting than this.
* I know the title makes no sense in this case but in the Basecamp post there was a mention of my overuse of this title treatment and I’m just being a smartass about it now… also, “colons” in that sentence makes me giggle.
Thanks to Michael J. Young for the tip.