Uniform Signage in Veracruz’s Libraries

Last month when I was in Mexico I had the opportunity to visit a number of small and sometimes rural public libraries. I was totally impressed with the enthusiasm of the library workers and the pride they took in providing library services.

Even more inspirational was the signage treatment provided, I think, for libraries across the state of Veracruz. These pictures came from a number of different libraries but you probably wouldn’t guess that if I hadn’t of mentioned it.

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I saw zero 8.5×11″ pieces of paper taped to walls.

Are there any libraries in the US, perhaps in a consortium, that have worked together to provide uniform wayfinding devices for library users? This would make sense where people use a few different libraries that are in close proximity.

We could have a universal signage system for all libraries. It seems to be a logical extension of sharing the same classification systems. Then again, I’m not sure how this 1920s-esque Rationalist idea fits with my previous post advocating for fun, human language on library websites.

5 thoughts on “Uniform Signage in Veracruz’s Libraries”

  1. Love the signage, and amen to the taped paper thing. And guess what, even when you stick that paper in one of those plastic protector things, it still looks crappy.

    I am not down, however, with the universal signage idea.

  2. I think that rational design doesn’t have to be in opposition to fun and humanity, although it certainly can be. The excesses of modernism are pretty well-documented.

    But a modernist typeface like Fruiteger, commissioned for the signage at Charles de Gaulle airport, shows how clarity and geometry can nonetheless have a warmth and humanity to it. Of course, this isn’t always easy. But at it’s best, the clarity and order sought by modernist design make it more user-friendly in in contexts where users need clear, ordered information–like signage.

    The Veracruz signage is pretty sweet, and you make a good point about the utility of standardization. Although I kind of wish that the signage used color-coding as an additional visual cue. Cool post; thanks for sharing the photos.

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