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New York Public Library Reveals New Look and Mission for the Future
The goal in designing the new logo was to emphasize today's Library.
NEW YORK, NY.- The New York Public Library has introduced two important new elements to its identity and communications at a time of rapidly changing user needs. At an event earlier this evening in the Trustees Room, the Library unveiled a new lion logo developed in concert with its new mission, which is to Inspire Lifelong Learning, Advance Knowledge, and Strengthen Our Communities. The event featured a presentation by designer and author Steven Heller and a state-of-the-art multimedia experience that included QR Code technology.

“The new visual identity reflects the accessibility and dynamism of today’s library,” said Paul LeClerc, President of The New York Public Library. “At a time when users are coming to us in record numbers both on-site and online, the new logo and mission statement represent the Library’s active engagement in unifying communities as well as the Library’s staff around 21st-century needs.”

The Logo
The goal in designing the new logo was to emphasize today’s Library, grounded in tradition yet contemporary. It is based on the Library’s iconic lion statues, which sit at the entrance to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.The new look, designed by the Library’s in-house graphics team under the leadership of Art Director Marc Blaustein, emphasizes openness, with flowing lines speaking to momentum and forward motion.

The first stage of the redesign began in 2008 with the designers sketching and photographing the marble statues from the steps of the landmark building. Dozens of iterations, realistic and conceptual, pencil and digital, drew inspiration from periods and themes including 16th-century printers’ marks, Art Nouveau, stained glass, and Japanese woodcuts. The result is a balance between organic lines and geometric shapes that visually represent the movement and fluidity of the Library, also reflected in the new mission. The new logo is versatile and can be used in various forms and colors. It also reproduces well at small sizes and reads strongly in all formats whether online or in print.

“The mission of The New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities.”

The three parts that comprise the mission statement represent the various roles the Library plays and the promises it makes to its users. The focus on powerful verbs is a testament to the Library’s dedication to actively engage with the public in creating the Library of the future. The Library inspires lifelong learning by creating and supporting more able learners from the youngest patrons in the children’s rooms to the adults in the Rose Main Reading Room to those in their living rooms or elsewhere around the world connecting through the Internet. The Library advances knowledge through its commitment to continuously collect and preserve materials that reflect New York’s global perspective, and to maintain free and open access to those materials. The Library is also an instrument for the communities it serves, celebrates, honors, and brings together. The new mission statement was developed through focus groups and through interviews and surveys with staff and Trustees. Their preliminary ideas and language formed the framework for the new statement.

The New York Public Library | Paul LeClerc | New Look and Mission for the Future |

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