Newton Public Library revealed its new logo during a Newton Chamber of Commerce event on Thursday, Aug. 31.
“With the new library building slated to open this spring, we thought this would be a great time to refresh our visual identity,” said Dr. Cari Cusick, library director. “This new logo is contemporary, it’s colorful, and it gives us lots of great options as we update the designs of our library publications, marketing materials and swag.”
The logo was created by Wichita graphic artist Tracy Holdeman, creative director of Insight Design. Holdeman has designed high-profile logos such as those of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Vornado. He also created the Newton Chamber’s new logo.
An inevitable question with any new logo is what it means, or what it represents. Sometimes, there is a clear answer; usually, not. Newton Public Library’s new logo is fundamentally abstract, but it is intended to suggest the library’s mission and role in the community.
“I kind of look at it as people coming together. The library is a hub for people of different stripes – different colors and beliefs. It’s a safe place for everyone,” Holdeman said.
The squared-off ends of the swirling shapes could also suggest the opened pages of books.
Holdeman spent childhood summers in Newton with his grandmother, then spent a few years living with her after college. He later designed a collection of bestselling calendars and figurines based on her sayings and stories, called “Grandma Mabel’s Legacy.”
“Doing a logo for the Newton Public Library was like the pinnacle for me, because of my grandma. It was a thrill for me,” Holdeman said.
Newton Public Library’s now-former logo was introduced in 2006, in conjunction with the institution’s 120th anniversary. The library held a public design competition, and the winning design was submitted by Susan Bartel, a well-known Newton artist who was then a member of the library’s staff.
Bartel’s design, which could perhaps be said to show the pages of a book transforming into the wings of a butterfly, will still be seen on library materials and signage for a long time to come and will always have a place as the “retro” or “throwback” logo.