Since its inception, Columbus Metropolitan Library has been an indelible part of the fabric of its local communities, enriching and educating all who come through its doors. And with over 20 unique locations in a diverse array of central Ohio neighborhoods, a robust online presence, and a vast collection of programs and services, it is one of the most progressive and innovative library organizations in the country.
Few organizations have a constituency that’s as vast and varied as CML’s. Each of the library’s neighborhoods has its own distinctive needs. And each location serves a broad array of users, with robust offerings like events, speakers, workshops, and other resources.
Connecting with these many audiences was always a priority for CML. But over time, its brand had begun to stagnate. The organization came to Ologie seeking a voice that was bolder and smarter, more playful and less rigid. Our challenge was to evolve the brand in a way that also allowed for plenty of customization for the library’s various locations and neighborhoods.
In our conversations with community members, we found that what most resonated with audiences was the spaces that CML offered: Public spaces where people could gather. Creative spaces where families could explore. Personal spaces where users could pursue what mattered to them.
So we developed a set of visual and verbal tools to communicate the benefits of these spaces. First was a fresh new voice, both approachable and inspiring, that flexes well for all audiences and all aspects of the organization’s work. Similarly, we crafted a more vibrant color palette, refined the typographic toolkit, and added a suite of inviting illustrations and playful patterns to bring a new spark to brand communications.
With these tactics and tools in place, the library’s communicators are now invigorated and inspired to tell the CML story in a bold, new way: one that connects with all their users in every neighborhood. And no matter what the message — whether it’s wayfinding or community announcements or larger, organization-wide efforts — CML can draw from a distinctive brand that feels undeniably human and thoroughly welcoming to all.