San Mateo County Libraries (SMCL) has been the cornerstone of a very diverse community for over a century. A family of 12 libraries, they offer unmatched programming, a staggering collection of resources, and free access to countless technologies. As SMCL has continued to grow and expand, their existing brand no longer reflected their dynamic scope and scale.
We overhauled the outdated branding with a system that captured SMCL’s inspiring vision and approachable personality. In order to effectively communicate that each location was a part of a larger community pursuing the same inclusive mission, we adjusted the name from the existing “San Mateo County Library” to “Libraries.” We designed a clean and imaginative logo consisting of a symbol we called “The Burst of Knowledge,” placing it alongside a clean and modern wordmark. Together, they mirror the spread of information, the family of libraries, and the excitement that emanates from experiencing something new. The corresponding tagline we created, Open for Exploration™, speaks to SMCL’s mission to engage the community through the expansion of knowledge and transformative experiences. Anchored in a bright, simple color palette and friendly, caring language, the new brand feels welcoming and energetic.
The result is a timely and timeless solution. It’s an optimistic and smart brand that will support San Mateo County Libraries as they evolve for years to come.