Working Together

Project Manager Michele Pye Systems Support Erik Stainsby Photography istock

Working Together was a project that aimed to expand the role and effectiveness of libraries in marginalized communities. The project was unique in that it was conducted concurrently in cities across Canada, and was the only one of its kind in North America. The project site lives on, hosting all the data, publications and conversations that come from its efforts at librariesincommunities.ca.

The project needed a website to describe its activity to the wider library community and to the world at large. When I was approached by them, they had been struggling with a frustrating process that had essentially ground to a halt, and could not be restarted.

Review of materials that had been created so far, revealed a disjointed and unfocused effort and the work would have to be re-done in its entirety. This, with strict limitations in time and budget.

Various attempts had been made at creating an original emblem for Working Together but none found ready acceptance with all the stakeholders and were subject concern in terms of appropriateness, inclusivity and political correctness.

My solution was entirely prescriptive.

A new abstract logo that conveyed the project's interconnected, decentralized, and humane objectives. Derived from the project's already clear sense of identity and their stated goals, it avoided the visual tropes that had stymied them before (symbols of people and concern over of representations of race and gender.) It galvanized the project team nationwide. The mark was lauded as an excellent solution by the key stakeholders, but better still, it found ongoing compliment from librarians around the country.

logos

For the emblem, I have to say that when I first saw the previous version from the last workshop, I had a sinking feeling and thought “Oh no, it’s a little white man!” I love the new one – it strongly says “interconnectivity” and also (to me) decentralization – there is no strong centre point, and I like that.

Community Outreach Manager
Halifax Public Libraries

Graphics files were prepared for print as well in anticipation of report publishing as the project came to a close, and all the files including some simple use guidelines for business documents were distributed to the project's nodes in Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Halifax using the project's intranet. I also developed a WordPress theme for the website and restyled the phpBB forums to more closely match the look and feel. Short on time and money, I did only what was necessary to deliver adequate look and feel.