It is a time of rapid change and evolution for libraries. Today, libraries are different things to different people: places of learning, creation, technology access, civic participation, and more. As the library evolves to meet the changing needs of our community, our visual identity is taking a new form as well.

Because of continued changes in our communities and in library serves, over recent years NOPL has sought input from community members and staff by conducting surveys, holding community meetings, and doing much research. The result of all these efforts culminated in a new strategic plan for the library.

Our new strategic plan led to a refreshed mission and the development of four strategic priorities: community, learning, collaboration, and sustainability.

With a new focus, new goals, and a new Director leading the organization, the decision was made to update our branding and identity, something that helps communicate these changes in a visual way.


Amanda Roberts, NOPL’s Creative Director, started the process of creating a new visual identity. Using research that had been done and keeping the library’s strategic goals in mind, design elements, colors, and fonts were carefully selected. Then work on the logo started. Inspired by the word “community,” a round harmonious logo was selected; within, a letter N appearing to look like an open book or open door to symbolize the basic purpose of the library. Roberts wanted to give the iconic “reading man” (seen in the previous logo) a new life. “We wanted the logo to be a classic symbol that was universally translated. When you look at the mark you see the purpose and mission of NOPL. Different people see different things when they look at it,” says Roberts. “That’s what the library is like.”

The logo is a simple one. Using only one color helps with sustainability, as it reduces printing costs – costs that are much higher when more colors are involved. The new color palette also works with colors already in the libraries, to help the change from the old branding to the new be more cost-effective and easy.

Within the next couple of weeks NOPL will be updating its brand online, on external signage, and inside the library. We are proud of NOPL’s history of service to the community. As we reimagine how we can best meet our community’s changes needs, we will always honor that history.

Thank you for your ongoing support and passion for your public library!