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Library hires new graphic artist, launches new logo and marketing initiatives

LANSING, Ill. (March 5, 2023) – The Lansing Public Library has a new logo — and the design is the creative work of a new employee.

J.J. Armstrong has been working at the library for just eight months, but has made quite an impact in that time. In her position as Marketing Associate, she is “responsible for promoting the library in the best way possible, though branding, social media, publications, and other avenues,” she said.

Much of the rebranding that library patrons may notice online, in print, and within the library building, is the work of Armstrong.

“I would say 95% of my role requires graphic design,” she said.

From science, to art, to Lansing

Library
J.J. Armstrong is pictured with her cat, Sir Miles Superfly. (Photo provided)

The Country Club Hills native, who now resides in Park Forest, initially attended college as a science major, but a love of art caused her to change course.

“I did a curriculum change and I started to follow my passion and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, where I graduated summa cum laude and received my BFA in Graphic Design,” she said.

She has now been working professionally in graphic design for over 15 years. In addition to her role at the library, she also runs her own graphic design business called Strong On Design.

“I work with various clients, some of them being libraries in and around Illinois,” she said.

In addition to work on the logo, she’s also been responsible for much of the rebranding, including the Library@Nite Concert Series, Library@Home Homebound Delivery Service, Lansing Seed Library, Friends of the Lansing Public Library, and Library of Things.

An upcoming project that has been in the works is the design of graphics for the Library Bike, which Armstrong is very excited about. She is also the designer and editor of BranchOut, the new library newsletter, which debuted in January.

“She brings a creativity and energy that is contagious to those that she works with,” said Lisa Korajczyk, Director of the Lansing Library. “She is able to put people’s ideas and words together in a very unique visual style.”

Creating the Library’s logo

The Library’s new logo uses white space to communicate the image of a tree.

“As a graphic designer, my role is to bring visions to life. The creation of Lansing Public Library’s new logo came from the input of every staff member. I learned about what the library meant to each individual as well as what everyone wanted the library to represent to our patrons and to the community of Lansing,” she said.

“Words like safe, cheerful, friendly, warm, clean, inclusive, environmental, optimistic, and bright helped to build our logo,” she said.

Those words impacted the color choices made in the new logo: green, yellow, and orange, Armstrong explained, adding that the use of white space is very intentional in the logo.

“Some people may think the logo has a tree because the library houses a tree. Ultimately there is no tree, though the white space and the color spacing creates an illusion of one. The color spacing also indicates movement. It is the expansion of where we started to how far we’ll go. This is why the ‘tree’ is not centered, because the library is continuously moving and evolving,” she said.

Community creativity

The daily opportunities for creativity are what Armstrong likes most about her new job.

“I like that I have an opportunity to present our programs, principles, and services to the Lansing community in a creative way. I’m grateful to work for individuals that have faith in me to create materials that represent our library in its best light,” she said.

“[J.J. Armstrong] is helping us craft our message to our community about who and what the library is, and what we have to offer,” Korajczyk. “When I look to see all the work that she has accomplished in the last eight months I am truly amazed.”

Armstrong and her husband Jerrod have a daughter Kiera and two family pets — an orange tabby named Sir Miles Superfly and a yellow lab, Sir Alexander Sirius. She enjoys traveling with her family, photography, and is an advocate for individuals with autism and special needs.

“I want to encourage the Lansing community to visit their local library and check out some of the awesome programs and services we provide. The director and staff here are phenomenal — they truly are creating an atmosphere that promotes positive patron experiences,” she said.

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Lansing’s Journal’s March 2023 print issue. We have since learned that J.J. Armstrong will soon be leaving the Lansing Library to devote time to her family and growing her own business. The Library still intends to contract Armstrong to do design work, however.

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Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: "Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew," "Why Millennials are choosing Lansing," "Curtis Granderson returns home to give back," "The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family," and "Lansing's One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis."