Kirby Stephens Design

Discover What Speaks to You

Designing a logo to represent the Russell County (Kentucky) Public Library began with a fundamental question: What is a library? The answer, which came into focus through discussions with the library staff, is quite different from what it has been in years past. With digital materials, genealogy tools, career services, educational programs and much more, today's (and tomorrow's) library is more than books. It's CONTENT. 


Rebranding the RCPL began as a website design project. KSD was selected from an interviewed list of firms to tackle refreshing the library's outdated site. "KSD was the only firm who had not created a library website before," said Kimberly Taylor, the library's IT specialist. "They didn't tell us what we needed to do, they asked questions, and listened. We appreciated that, and are absolutely thrilled with the results."

A review of the existing website and discussion with the staff led to the decision to design a logo for the library. RCPL already had a solid "brand" in the community as a very helpful, friendly, and vital resource. Its visual identity, or lack there of, simply did not reflect this commitment and attitude. Years of creating materials with the library's name, in a variety fonts and styles, had culminated in a disjointed visual image. .

Building from the idea that a library is "content," we replaced the double "s" of Russell with the symbols that best represent that idea, quotation marks. The end result is a memorable logo that conveys the possibilities inside the library.


To establish a unified graphic system, the logo, a new slogan, colors, typefaces, and style parameters were developed before beginning work on the website. The new slogan: "Discover What Speaks to You", further emphasizes the very personal experience this library provides. Two versions of the logo were designed, one for horizontal applications, and one for vertical spaces.

After the logo was presented to, and approved by the library staff, website development began with the decision to photograph library patrons engaged with books to anchor the site design. The previous site was very dark, so we established a theme of bright white backgrounds for the interface. New staff photographs were created in the same style. (See more images of this project)

The site front page presents the most important core links in large, graphic buttons with a full menu at the page bottom. Interior pages contain a full navigation menu at the bottom, plus another full navigation menu in the sidebar near the top, so getting around the site is very convenient. On mobile devices, a simplified, retractable navigation system displays at the top of every page.

The new website is based on a content management system, allowing the staff to make updates from any web browser. Designed to be responsive to screen sizes, the site is optimized to work on smartphones, tablets, laptops, as well as full size desktop computers.

KSD also helped build the library's social media presence. While the library was already active on Facebook, KSD helped set up Pinterest, Twitter, and Google Calendar accounts, and offered ideas on how to generate the best content for each.



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