A top-5 library in the US gets loud and proud.

On the cusp of a crucial levee vote, the library rebrands as a next-gen learning destination for all.

When the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library partnered with us on their rebrand, it was their first in 20 years. Facing a multi-million, multi-year renovation project, the library was ready for a new brand experience—one that reflected the totality of its efforts and the deep impact that resonates across the region.

With 19,000,000 materials in circulation and 17,000 programs and events, CHPL offers an expansive network of learning programs across 41 branches. It’s also a place where all are welcome, receiving support and essential services.

Inspired by the many ways CHPL pushes the boundaries of a traditional library, we created a robust brand strategy to better capture its mission. Drawing on consumer desires, we rooted the strategy in two innate motivations for the CHPL audience: Curiosity and Social Contact. From positioning and promise to beliefs and behaviors, the strategy gave way to a brand narrative, communication strategy and creative expression that embody the ultimate message: this is a place for minds of all kinds.

Because the library belongs to everyone, it needed a communication strategy that resonates with diverse audiences, each with different wants and needs. Our verbal team developed a systematized messaging framework, giving the library the tools to tell the new story with many segments. We also built a creative expression system rooted in exploration and inclusion. Connecting divergent sources of inspiration—a book, an event, a new friend—our design team created “paths of discovery,” each leading to unlocked potential.

  • Consumer Insights
  • Stakeholder Interviews + Analysis
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Graphics + Illustration
  • Brand Voice
  • Naming + Messaging
  • Communication Strategy
  • Omnichannel Rollout
  • Actionable Consumer Desires
  • Brand Foundations
  • Brand Transformation

Project Outcome

Despite launching at a time of uncertainty and limited in-person access, the new CHPL brand has debuted with high impact, connecting 41 branches and thousands of customers in novel ways.

Embodying the idea that a library is more than four walls, the strategy forged an immediate connection with audiences. Not only did the rebrand drive awareness and support for the library’s future initiatives, it reinforced the importance of its mission—now and for generations to come.

This rebrand tells the story we’ve been living for years. The library is a place for minds of all kinds, where learning and possibility know no bounds.

Paul Brehm-HeegerEva Jane Romaine Coombe Director, CHPL