The Toledo Lucas County Public library approached Madhouse with two problems to solve. The first problem was an aging visual identity; the second was an online presence that failed to represent their ethos: modern, welcoming and accessible to all.
Libraries Are Changing
The mark we created for TLCPL is refreshingly simple. It looks as comfortable as an icon on a tablet as it does on a billboard or a brochure. One of the most important decisions in this design is what isn't there: a book. As libraries across the country change and evolve, many are facing a similar challenge: to effectively communicate the breadth of their services, beyond the circulation of reading material.
TLCPL's strategy is to transform from a simple repository of books and information to a hub for community engagement. Their new visual identity reflects this emphasis on relevance and connectedness.
We went all in on a bold, minimal aesthetic for TLCPL. Dropping clutter for clean, we designed a unique letterform that stands on its own and gives a timeless quality to this time-tested institution.
A Bold Palette
We developed a family of colors that reinforce TLCPL's reputation as a vibrant and energetic organizaiton.
With 20 branch locations throughout Lucas County, TLCPL needed a visual language that was flexible enough to provide consistency to the staff at each branch, while allowing each unique community's personality to remain on display.
Digital Style Guide
Developing a beautiful brand is just the beginning. We think through the best tools and resources that will set teams up to succeed as they roll out their new look to the world.
After reinventing their visual identity, the next step for TLCPL was to build a new, modern web presence that complimented it. When we have the opportunity to design and build a website in tandem with new digital brand standards the final product is that much more striking.
ToledoLibrary.org is one of the finest looking responsive sites I’ve seen in a while.Ethan Marcotte, Responsive Design Podcast
The library serves everyone - and everyone accesses the internet in their own way. We delivered a website that looks and works great on every device. That's why six months after launch, toledolibrary.org has seen mobile engagement increase by 10%.
It's not enough for a website to look good on every device, it has to work well for every person. We write code by hand that plays nicely with screen readers and other assistive devices, so that users of all abilities can find what they are looking for.
Another user that we are constantly thinking of as we design and build is the content publisher. Our modular approach to design gave TLCPL's internal team the ability to create rich, unique pages without writing a line of code.
Toledolibrary.org connects users to countless 3rd-party tools and services. We made them all work together in one modern, branded experience.
To get disparate web properties to play nice we leveraged existing APIs and filled in the gaps with hand-coded solutions when necessary. We mapped, designed, programmed and tested integrations that connect the following:
- Events Calendar and Ticketing System
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Recommended Reading Lists
- Multiple Catalogs (books, audiobooks, ebooks, movies, music and more)
- In-branch Kiosks and Printers
- Media Vending Inventory
Madhouse worked hand-in-hand with TLCPL to craft a masterpiece that makes creating and updating content a breeze – even for non-technical users.Andy Lechlak, Digital Strategist | TLCPL
Built For Flexibility. Coded From Scratch.
Websites used to be like online brochures. The layout was predictable and the content fit into a predetermined template. But there is a big problem with building sites this way: as an organization grows and changes, there are always new and important pieces of content.
We don’t deliver a handful of page templates that all of your future content needs to be crammed into. Instead, we give you a suite of content blocks that you can mix and match to create pages we didn’t even imagine. Here's how it works: