The Hamilton Public Library

Freedom to Discover

HPL wanted to start the celebration of their 125th year in style.

In operation for a staggering 125 years, the Hamilton Public Library wanted to kickoff the new year by delivering their patrons something special. Wise & Hammer was initially tasked to create some exciting new library card designs that really put the focus on their new brand and breathed new life into the old logo. The immediate success of the new library cards opened the floodgates for Wise & Hammer, allowing for the subsequent expansion of Hamilton Public Library’s vast array of printed and digital materials.

Greeting the Community

A warm welcoming

One of the key components to the rebranding was providing meaningful take-away materials full of valuable information for library-goers. With that in mind, crafting a brand new Welcome Brochure was an ideal way to engage customers and the community at large while introducing the new brand. To ensure users’ first experience with The Library was a positive one, Wise & Hammer needed to create communication materials that were not only efficient and effective, but also sparked incentive for people to attend the various programs and events offered by HPL. The final outcome was a beautifully designed Welcome Brochure that successfully introduced the new face of the Hamilton Public Library to the people of Hamilton.



What's Happening Guide

Quarterly seasonal guides to promote programs and activities.

The What's Happening seasonal program guides were introduced to drive community participation and engagement. Due to the shear volume of amazing programs offered, previous iterations of the guide were often very difficult to read and looked more like a typical phone book. 

​Amazing Programs Deserve to be Seen

The Hamilton Public Library offers many unique programs representing the entire spectrum of the population; Adults, kids, seniors, new Canadians, entrepreneurs, students and professionals are sure to find something suited to their interests. Our job was to highlight these programs in a way that made them more accessible to everyone.

The redesign of this guide focused on three main goals: catalogue a large amount of information easily and accurately, make it easier for residents to find and understand services that are available to them, and showcase the wide range of programs and services offered across 22 branches in an elegantly organized and visually appealing fashion.

A Brand Imprinted in Print

Using printed materials to create lasting impressions.

HPL is a large organization with heavy requirements to manage and communicate vast amounts of information. One of the predominant ways that the The Library achieves this is through the use of varying printed materials. Wise & Hammer was tasked with creating a series of visually stimulating collateral pieces that would grab the viewers attention, explain the details clearly and leave a lasting impression.

For the Love of All Things Print

Improving communications

Wise & Hammer produced numerous collateral pieces including posters, brochures, information sheets, roll-up banners, placards and bookmarks, incorporating the new look and feel clearly and consistently throughout to reinforce the new brand with the public.

We love working with Wise & Hammer. We value their organized approach, attention to detail, and strong project management skills – libraries like order and process. But we’re also community builders and Wise & Hammer is helping us share the love we have for Hamilton in new ways. They are helping us better represent our strategic priorities. Their creative approach is stellar – look at our new library cards! Their strategy and problem solving capabilities and solutions are highly valued. We feel like we have a real partner with the Wise & Hammer team.

Melanie Southern — Director, Public Service, Partnerships & Communications @ HPL

Building a Family Under the HPL Brand

Hamilton Public Library has numerous ongoing programs and resources that each needed to stand out amongst the full catalogue of offerings. To achieve this, Wise & Hammer created a suite of logos for these sub-brands that utilize the attributes of the new brand while visually differentiating them from the main brand at the same time. The result is a beautiful family of program logos that can live independently but also within the corporate identity of HPL.

Outfitted with Style

Whatever the occasion, Wise & Hammer is there to make Hamilton Public Library look good. 
125th Anniversary, Comic Book Day, Local History & Archives, Homework Help, Family Day, Storytime, Hamilton Reads, Telling Tales, Music Lives Here
Author visits, book clubs, music clubs, workshops, computer classes

Heart on Your Sleeve

Sharing the love with temporary tattoos

Having the opportunity to create cool pieces such as these HPL temporary tattoos was a fun challenge for the Wise & Hammer design team. We created two versions to ensure the tattoos resonated with both adults and children alike. The goal was to give something fun back to the community while extending the brand identity outside of the physical walls of the library.

Signage and Wayfinding

Navigating such a large organization comprised of multiple branches, all with unique layouts, can become a bit of a challenge. To ease the confusion, Wise & Hammer built a cohesive set of signage and wayfinding tools that gives visitors a sense of familiarity and direction regardless of the specific branch. As a component of the brand, these pieces become markers that library goers can spot amid the array of visual stimuli.