12 July 2016

[design] Multnomah County Library's New Logo

If you were asked what the logo of the Multnomah County Library was, up until now, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with one.

It was more of a wordmark, really, a designed arrangement of the name. After the Library 'went public' in 1990 (by the passage of a tax base measure which spelled the end of the private "Library Assocation of Portland … before which the LAP's seal was its logo) the word mark appeared alongside Multnomah County's stylzied "M" logo (seen right). During and for a time after the Library's sesquicentennial year (2014), the library logo featured a base of a large black block with the number 150 reversed-out of it.

This month, that all changes. The new, up-to-date Multnomah County Library logo, which should see our beloved library well into the next 150 years, has debuted, and here it is:

Of course,  we're prone to like anything MultCoLib does, but this is a winner. The type is current and seems to have that classic sort of feel to it that should prove to withstand the test of time. The abstract symbol, which recapitulates the abstract approach of and seems to share a similar palette with the County's logo, is shaped in an abstracted "L" (which can be made more than one way by tracing along the edges of the shapes) and can be viewed as a an open book, an open laptop computer … really, whatever you want to see there.

I see an open door inviting me to go down a passage, myself.

The new logo is expected to help coordinate a unified graphic approach to all County Library publications, which is another good thing a logo can do … become a linchpin, iconically providing a  pivoti upon which a holistic graphic theme can revolve. The logo won't become widespread immediately, as the Library plans to exhaust its stock of stationery with the old logos on it and phase in the new look.

The library's page on its logo's history and new look can be found hither: https://multcolib.org/blog/20160705/about-new-library-logo.

We think it well done. 

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