(Est. 1996) “Halifax Public Libraries comprises 14 branch libraries, a website, and Borrow by Mail and Home Delivery services. The Library serves a population of approximately 400,000 spread over 5,889 sq. km. The collection consists of over 1 million items — including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and downloadable audiobooks, eBooks and videos.”
Breakhouse (Halifax, NS)
The logo combines fourteen monolithic els, representing each of the branches, woven together as a family. The el stands upward and forward as a beacon of the Library, held up and supported by its community. Like an octopus, the logo adapts to its surroundings becoming as quiet or as vivid as needed, infinitely adaptable in colour and in form.
The old logo, OMG, what a train wreck. Every single element — perhaps with the exception of "HALIFAX" — was wrong. I won't even get into it because I will spend all morning enumerating how bad it is. If with the recent redesign of Louisville Public Media you felt like you were shortchanged in the amount of squares used, here is some redemption: The new Libraries icon combines 14 "L"s, each made of four squares, to make a busy tile of squares, accentuated with a readable "L" at the end. The 14 "L"s are indistinguishable and only come across as squares, which is not terrible as the "L" is made up of squares but the effect that the icon is made of multiple "L"s is not evident. The icon has a decent lock-up with a decent wordmark that can then translate into individual branch names (for which the icon can be customized). It's a slightly noisy but also relatively attractive and playful system. In application, the icon can be blown up or used small — sometimes it feels antiquated, like a mid 1990s brochure. Overall, I can't imagine the old applications being any better, and both logo and identity bring some dignity to an institution that deserves it.
Thanks to Mark Seymour for the tip.