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  • Andrew Gardner

University Library Department Icons

When dealing with a total branding overhaul like we have been for the past couple of years you have to reshape the identity of the whole institution even at the departmental level. Coming into our new brand guide in late 2017 we had no guidance beyond colors and fonts for how to distinguish the library and its departments from the rest of the campus community. Through rounds and rounds of brainstorming my boss and I came up with icon concepts for departments within the library that we could use for publications mainly but could also be used by those within the library for their own purposes.

The process was fairly simple. I began with deciding what type of iconography we wanted to use. We toyed with ideas like fully rendered logos and simple textual graphics. After looking at what other academic libraries do, we decided to go with the more mono-line styling icons. These would be good for being recognizable imagery while also being simple enough to not get lost in textual documents. I began by sketching out icons for general use first then moving to the departments. I tried to convey simple lines and ideas in my rough sketches while in the meeting.

Once I had sketches approved I moved into Adobe Illustrator and began creating the final icons using a mixture of stroke shapes and the pen tool. Precision was key in this project to produce a clean and cohesive set of icons that look like they belong together. The final step was to expand all the shapes and then save them in every possible color we could need! For convenience sake I have included the blue icons below. Now if in the future we need to make new icons we have this library of content to guide us!

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