The Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) is a state agency that serves all citizens of Alabama through state public libraries. In addition to supporting public libraries through programs, database access, and other resources, APLS also provides direct services to individuals with disabilities through the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH). Though APLS works with public libraries on local, regional and state levels, most Alabamians were largely unaware of APLS and its role in promoting learning, civic engagement and cultural opportunities across the state.
To raise brand awareness and more effectively connect libraries and citizens to their valuable resources, APLS worked with Stamp on both a rebrand and a new website.
To dig down into the target users and their needs, we completed a Marketing Action Plan (MAP) with the team at APLS. Since the previous site did not have Google Analytics installed, we also constructed a survey for the current users to explore their top uses of the site, feature requests, and more to help complete the MAP. The resulting plan showed that a rebrand to meet ADA compliance was a top priority. For the website, ADA compliance was required, the search feature must be very prominent on the website, and librarians were the top target audience. Making their most-accessed content easy to find was very important.
Our goal for the new brand was to present APLS as a friendly and approachable partner and service provider with a mark that reflected the accessibility of their digital databases and other resources. The new apple tree mark emphasizes the supportive relationship between APLS and local libraries across Alabama. The sprawling branches represent the various paths to knowledge available through APLS, and the leaves and apples bursting from the branches suggesting the growth of education, literacy, and learning. While the relationship between the leaves and branches implies the increased opportunity for connectivity and collaboration in a digital age, the bookmark tail on the bottom of the state acknowledges the roots of traditional library services. The lowercase acronym in a modern, simplified font is friendly and accessible while remaining professional and clear.
Since APLS directly serves the BPH community, ADA compliance was particularly important in the crafting of their new brand. Stamp worked diligently to achieve optimum contrast between brand colors to ensure that persons with varying types of colorblindness would be able to read and distinguish the various parts of the logo.
Our next step was to overhaul the website. We focused on ease of use for the target audiences and reorganizing the resources available.
- Organization of resources and making them sortable
- Refined user journey to resources
- Increased accessibility for ADA and WCAG compliance
- More clarity of purpose (that it’s not a public library itself)
- Search library listings via a custom map to find locations easily that tied into the existing internal database
- Site search functionality made this the focal point on the home page
Issues we needed to Address
- Ease of functionality, less clicks to find needed resources
- Clean navigation
- ADA compliance
- Consolidate and refine current content
- Seamless login to portal: add an employee intranet that used the internal employee database and login information
Comparing the four months before and after launch, users increased by 4106% and user engagment grew 209%.
It is crucial that the APLS website complies with ADA guidelines to allow individuals with disabilities equal access to their website. With the Library for the Blind being a huge part of their services, an inclusive experience for all users shows that APLS values all people regardless of ability. The previous site had several areas for us to improve on for screen readers and color contrast levels.
Custom icons can elevate the overall look and feel of your website, and help to create a memorable and positive user experience.
Generic icons would not accurately represent the niche areas of the APLS website. We developed custom icons to match the aesthetics of the new website and add a personal touch. They communicate to the target audiences by quickly conveying important information in a visual way.
More detailed Call-to-Action Icons
- Marketing Action Plan
- Brand Audit
- Art Direction & Graphic Design
- Website Design & Development
The APLS website received a Gold Award in the category of Website at the National Service Industry Advertising Awards.