Take the Seattle Public Library Survey About Their New Logo and "Brand Statement"


Ha! I answered "Singular" and "Plural" as well!
I know who the agency is and will tell you these few things...

- The agency is are Seattle-based
- They are doing the work at a financial loss (i.e. massively reduced fees)
- All the designers are in love with this project and the library, in general
- I personally don't like the logos that much
- Putting "brand" in scare quotes is pretty weak sauce, it's a really well accepted term here in the 21st century

Love, Anonymous Tipster

Lots of wasted money. But they can't afford a refrigerator for a certain unairconditioned and incredibly hot branch.
The logos are really weak. In this day and age, when everyone is a graphic designer, there's no excuse for bad logo design.

Honestly, the changes all seem paltry and insignificant. If they really want to serve their community better they should create the Seattle Library and Shelter system. Or maybe the Seattle Library & Bar.
I don't care whether "brand" is an accepted in the 21st century. It's highly inappropriate to be used in connection with a community institution. Cereals, yes; library, no.
It's really ridiculous they are wasting time on this. Branding does not create community. ACTIONS create community. This is just a lot of wasted time and money given to people who want to justify their jobs. There are so many serious crises in Seattle right now and this is how the library chooses to spend money? Screams of tone deaf stupidity (of the 1%).
Time spent is stupid. Logos are stupid. Mission Salad is stupid. Just please, please let them not pluralize the name. Don't re-name _A_ Public Instution that we all participate in, with _Several_ Possibly Unrelated Places That May Not Share A Catalog.
Me am Branded!

(sings) "Rawhide!"
@4 I would totally vote for a Seattle Public Library and Bar. And may even visit the library more. The trick would be finding a way to read in the mostly dark when there's a live band.
I think we should pay a visit to the next meeting of the Seattle Library Board and express our opinions. This episode sounds like well-intended people with too much time on their hands.

And those 3 logos are all terrible. One looks like those satellite light fixtures we used to see in "upscale" houses in the 1960s. If the logos are good examples of the competency of the Library's consulting firm, we are in trouble.
And the reason for re-branding and new logos is? Nothing that I can see. SPL works as is. Not any reason for re-branding or new logo. Doesn't the library have bigger concerns than re-branding and a new logo? It was not all that long ago the SPL was struggling to stay open 7 days a week and curtailed hours with several "mandatory" non-paid holidays for staffers. Are they flush with cash that they don't know what do spend it on? How about more books and other purchases?
The logos are pretty terrible imo, and also seem like a weird way to tie together the Sculpture Park or a Chihuly piece to the Library which is like, super annoying cuz like get that shit out of my face when I'm at the Library. For every single one I was like "THIS SEEMS VERY UNRELATED TO THE LIBRARY."
I like saying awesome sauce
The only one of the logos that doesn't look like a misshapen digitized turd is the one which looks like a midcentury, googie architecture starbust. That one actually does evoke Seattle, given our iconic googie architecture like the Space Needle. It also looks like a diagram of a computer network, so that's nice.

There is absolutely no reason to pluralize it to "Seattle Public Libraries." You don't see Bank of America calling themselves "Banks of America" just because they have more than one branch office. It's a foolish idea, and the public will never call it that.
"We preserve and create opportunities for the people of Seattle who make it such a dynamic and desirable place to live."

Can someone diagram that sentence for me and logically connect "it" ? Should it refer to the people ? Would it be better to say "this city" or imply that people find the libraries dynamic and a desirable place to live ? I guess the rent is cheap.
Seattle Public Library & Bar, please! Plus those logos will look at least 30% better with an ampersand. And @14, I respectfully say that option B was a trash logo that looked like brainstorm gone wrong.
@16: I'm not saying that option B is a great logo, but compared to the wireframe turds, it looks great in comparison.
Dear Seattle Public Library,

I have been a regular library patron since the late 1980s, and visit the library at least a couple times a month, sometimes more.

I have never once, in over 25 years, read your brand statement. I could not possibly give less of a fuck about what your brand statement was or what you plan to change it to.

Sure, your logo is boring, but so what? I kind of expect that from a library. Do you really think that someone who is not interested in libraries will look at some sleek new logo and suddenly decide to go visit the library?

I wonder how many books you could buy with over a quarter million dollars?


An eye-rolling library patron.
The best thing about adopting the plural "Libraries" is that it will make it harder for them to someday close all but one of them.
They can't even keep the windows clean on that stupid, overblown, already dated Central Library, and they want to "rebrand"? This is even worse than the time they renamed the Water Department "Seattle Public Utilities".
If you're going to change the name to "Libraries," then be consistent in your brand statement. It should read: "The Libraries provide access to knowledge, experiences and learning for all. We preserve and create opportunities for the people of Seattle who make it such a dynamic and desirable place to live. When we’re empowered as individuals, we become STRONGER TOGETHER." Even they don't want to change from "Library." Also...STOP YELLING!!!
Had they simply made this minor name change and put a short explanatory notice on the library (ies) homepage they would have saved the money and time spent on a nonissue. I use the library a lot and this doesn't make me care more or less for them except to think they are wasting a bit of the money I have contributed.
The logos look as uninspired as the work the design firm (Hornall Anderson) churned out for The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. What a waste of time and money. I prefer that my public institutions have logos that look charmingly retro and simple, as opposed to the weak tea of another craptastic start-up that needs a brand mark to decorate their 62 page brand statement/guide/document/tote bag.
@9 I'll start a satellite reading party there. We'll get light.

@14 Tacos Bell.
It's telling that this frankly stupid name change and the corporate-meeting-doodle logos made it out the door without being killed by someone - anyone - with common sense, a legitimate connection to this place we call home, and the guts to speak truth to power. I understand over the last few years those people have been ruthlessly purged.
I'm a Q card holder since the 80s (mine was the Montlake Branch, the old location, where the Fuel Coffee is now; think those all-red Q cards and and spinning through the microfiche catalog (or whatever you called that those things); and then latter logging on via my 2400 baud modem to make reservations; I still remember my number from that era. Yeah, I have snobbish native cred, but now I can't afford to live in Seattle). First observation: What if we had a little retro throwback to the past by putting a "book" in the logo. I know that's crazy, but libraries are, in theory, kind of connected to books. Of course, now I bring my kids in and they just want to play games on the stupid computers. Anyways....

Can someone please help me understand what the point of changing from "Library" to "Libraries" is? The fact that this is not clear seems to be a problem. I mean, based on my understanding of the word, "Library," it is all one big library. "Library" is good enough for New York City; it makes sense. I mean, what on earth does the change mean? That there are multiple branches? But they all have the same system; when I place a hold, I don't care which "library" it comes from. In fact, I like the idea that it is all one big library. "Libraries" raises more questions than it answers: Do some books 'belong' to one particular library? Can I check out books at a different library?

Finally, even if they come up with a good justification for the word "libraries", that doesn't mean that changing the name will do anything to achieve the goal that the word "libraries" represents to them (sounds like something to do with community).
The 1970 Seattle Times is online, through an SPL database. The P-I, however, is not.
The library has an extra $365,000 and they don't know what to do with the money? How about funneling that dough into providing more purchases or you know into the library itself rather than waste money on doing something that's totally unnecessary. The SPL as the Seattle Public Library has done just fine with that as its name since forever. And why do we need a nondescript logo when what we have now has worked fine for years. Is the money for this that SPL is putting forth burning a whole in their pocket?
This is a really good idea. You guys should consider this, too.

The Strangers.

For years we have donated to the SPL Foundation. That ends now.
How much LEVY money is being spent on this joke???
@20 Hahaha. I was just downtown yesterday and thought the exact same thing. It was novel and "exciting" when it opened. I don't think I've visited the central Seattle libraries since its opening week. Yesterday that particular locations looked totally dated and out of places -- actually it looked stupid. I do like its schemes of being able to browse on the gentle inclines. I think they should select monthly a citizen to "rebrand" sponsored by The Seattle Library. You could have school kids eagerly make something up on their own and then honor them with a logo and slogan and shit like that. But the aegis would be SPONSORED BY SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY at the bottom or something.
I took the survey, commented on the three atrocious proposed new logis (a naked DNA segment about to unravel following exposure to a toxic substance, an exploding clusterfuck and a clothed DNA segment about to collapse following exposure to a toxic substance, and very harshly mocked SPL for wasting a staggering amount of $$$ on this silly effort. I reminded them of the lethal blowback to Jorge Carrasco's career when Seattle City Light hired a consultant to rebrand him, and told SPL that I'd honestly rather see the Seattle Library Foundation send $365,000 worth of books to Syrian refugees entering the United States to escape the horrendous violence that has ripped their country to shreds.
@Bookman, I was in that branch last summer. It was shockingly and stiflingly hot, and I thought, "So much for the idea that SPL branches can be heat refuges for people at risk of heat stroke. The Library Foundation should by all means spend $365,000 equipping the NE branch with better HVAC.
@MudBaby I wasn't speaking specifically of the NET branch but you are right, it is crazy hot there too! But they do at least have a refrigerator!!
Why couldn't they just change the name to Seattle Public Library (minus the "The"). No need for plural at all and no need for a huge amount of money to be spent making the decision. Total waste of money and disappointing on so many levels. As far as the new logos - horrible! Looks like one was stolen from Big Bang Theory and the other two, no idea how that relates to the library. There are so many better ways to contribute to Seattle's diverse communities, if it's not broke...
Also, completely agree with Bookman and Mud Baby, as a regular NE patron it's absolutely RIDICULOUS that a building has been remodeled that many times and NOT had a/c added. Isn't that a community with a lot of seniors that need a place to go in the heat?

As a native Seattleite - I am not surprised by this foray into a name change. This idea is symbolic of unnecessary expenditure of scarce resources. The library is not a shoe or car company. The existing is a classic design, and needs no update. Leave it alone. Those changes will not create connections with community. People make connections with community - not logos. This is a waste of time and city funds.
oh hey look! the stranger hates it! huge shocker.

while I think the new mission statement is not great (is this black lives matter or the library?) and the name change is confusing, their current setup is also extremely outdated and bad. but the stranger sure does know awful when they see it! the article doesn't even show the logo choices!

for those who want to take the survey: the logos are basically a choice between a generic "networking" style buckyball setup, and a faceted "thingy" reminiscent of the main library branch. the colors are a choice between "hip and edgy" grey and orange, or trusted and true Seahawks colors.

also should their name me "Seattle Public Libraries" like Seattle Public Schools, or "The Seattle Public Library" as in The New York Public Library?
Oh, you're kidding! There's a new logo proposal and everyone on the internet has to chime in and talk about how shitty it is? More important than thinking critically about the options, better just to shit on it so everyone knows how insufficient the professional graphic designers who worked on it are compared to your absolutely perfect taste. *yawn*

Let's, instead, assume that these are our options and our choice is not to brainlessly whine about them like petulant children, but instead to pick out what works best of the three and then discuss how it might be improved, divorced of a need to express undeserved senses of superiority. Those of us who are actually designers will remember this skill from D-School (and just about every project we've been on since).

Obviously, the wireframe nodes represent the library system on a map of the city. I prefer Option B, because it does a nicer job of reflecting that each neighborhood is a distinct entity unto itself. It also just looks more energetic. The network meme is trite, in any event, and the typeface on Option C would feel more at home on another project.

I'd expand on the diversity meme a bit for Option B, then, and use three or five shades of blue, instead of two. Odd numbers are happier, I think.
@41 I basically agreed with you on the logo -- the nodes make more sense even though the green or orange tholian would be kind of cool. the font choice though, I liked the rounded digital looking one. it's modern without being too hip.

What is their current setup, in what ways is it outdated and bad, and how does the rebranding improve the currently outdated and bad setup?
I guess the pepsi people were unavailable?

Re: logo number 3: it looks a lot like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_…
Thanks for covering this. I took the survey the other day, and was appalled by the idiocy of this re-branding boondoggle.
"To serve our great computer, your magnetic ink"
How about that for a Seattle Way library logo?
The building evokes computers like a religion.
" The information is also available in all Library locations. " NOT true.
I was just at Queen Anne Branch today (Sept 20th) and they had nothing about it.
The Looney Left is at it again in Seattle.

Where do I begin with this one? I guess by just jumping in. Read on dear reader cuz this one beyond is stupid as in REALLY STUPID.

The peeps that run The Seattle Public Library, a perfectly wonderful library system, decided that calling the city’s library system, The Seattle Public Library, no longer adequately captured the main mission of The Seattle Public Library.

I do admit the moment I first heard about this I did jump right to the conclusion that this was a CLASSIC equivalent of the Looney Left having erectile dysfunction that could only be treated by a magic pill.

However, for a change, I had a measured response, and decided that these peeps may be onto something, after all the nature of libraries has changed dramatically over that last 20 years. Today libraries are technological hubs that provide primary computer access to the low income people, streaming media to everyone, and lately downloadable books; all of this is in addition to books and such.

With this point of view in mind I thought a bit of rebranding made a lot of sense especially if this effort would raise the profile and expand the usefulness of The Seattle Public Library throughout the community. Unfortunately my moment of being reasonable turned out to be a HUGE F’ING WASTE OF TIME.

So what caused me to go from warm and fuzzy underpants to shitting in them? That is easy.
This whole crappy rebranding effort started with consultants that cost, according to the Stranger, a Seattle weekly $365,000. Wow.

This expenditure is particularly irritating because over the last year and a half The Seattle Public Library had to shut down for days at a time and furlough employees without pay because of BUDGET CONTRIANTS. With this in mind, my generosity of spirit quickly soured and became toxic. If I was a non-management employee of The Seattle Public Library I would be rather hostile, as in death rays coming out of my ass, towards the management peeps that run The Seattle Public Library.
Anyhow this discourse doesn’t describe why I am going JESUS H. CHRIST.
The main question is what the F’ did the consultants hired by the management peeps come up with as a REBRANDING strategy for The Seattle Public Library? Read on and be amazed and dazzled. Taking it up the butt comes to mind also.

The REBRANDING consultants concluded that THE SEATLLE PUBLIC LIBRARY needed to REBRAND itself to SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRAIRES. WTF? That is the answer? F’ing shoot me.

No don’t shoot me; rather ponder this with respect to the old name:
• Seattle Correctly Identifies the location
• Public Correctly identifies that this run by a government
• Library Correctly identifies the obvious that that this is a library

Now consider this about the new name:
• Seattle Correctly Identifies the location
• Public Correctly identifies that this run by a government
• Library Correctly identifies the ever so slightly less obvious that there are multiple locations

Now F’ing shoot me. The whole point of this was to make sure that it obvious that it is obvious that The Seattle Public Library has multiple branches located throughout the city.

What an utter waste of time.

They are even spending the time to take PUBLIC COMMENTS about this brilliant idea. Of course you, dear public, can comment all you want and the Seattle Public Libraries peeps will give your comments about as much attention that a janitor gives a pubic hair on urinal.

One day I will give in and learn to not be stunned at how dumb the people are running this city.
Seriously, how much money are these people getting paid, both in salary and pension, to come up with useless changes that will cost millions of dollars to implement that nobody in their right mind will ever notice even occurred.

Add this to the list of the government peeps trying to ban single family homes demanding the lenders offer Sharia compliant mortgages, allowing the homeless to turn the entire city into a giant campground, and eliminating parking throughout the city. It is quite stunning to watch an echo chamber run the city.

Just reading about this has given me a headache so bad that I need to take some Viagra and f’ myself.

This is beyond stupid.
No end user of any business cares about a "brand statement." Brand statements are for management to remind themselves of what broad terms to base their high-level emails around.
@44 this reads like they had timecube.com write a brand brief.

@49 looney left? you think the board is a bunch of liberals? you are mistaken. also, your comment makes no sense. post when you're sober please.
If you think $365,000 is a lot: In addition to the donated Foundation funds used for the branding process, the library and taxpayer dollars will follow up with hundreds of thousands more putting the new brand in place - on new signs outside each branch, on staff badges and business cards, on the sides of delivery vehicles, on company letterheads and envelopes, etc. Other library systems have spent upwards of $1 million putting new brands in place.
I wonder what programs were cut or canceled to divert the additional $15,000 above the $350K RFP for this project spent so far. I wonder what programs will be cut or cancelled to fund the $500K needed to implement it "to start with....".
I guess this expenditure falls under:
"But The Seattle Public Library Foundation provides funding for additional resources, programs and services that take our library system to a new level of excellence."

Excellence, that's it! Rebranding will make us look even more excellent than yesterday's excellent. Perhaps rebranding will put an extra squeeky shine on our library and attract more, better, beyond excellent donors!
That "masterpiece" central library just wasn't enough - Oh dear, it's almost time to build a new one, it's become *so* yesterday. We must keep up! New image, new donors who will claim more tax breaks. If I donate my white 96 Ford Escort, will you put a plaque with my name on one of the toilet paper holders in the restroom at my local branch? Whoops, wrong institution.
Until this fiasco I used to think Seattle City Librarian Marcellus Turner was pretty cool. Now I'd like to see him experience the same fate as former head of Seattle City Light Jorge Carrasco when he tried to update his sorry ass brand.