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Multnomah County Library

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In case you haven't seen, your Multnomah County Library system unveiled a brand-new logo this week! It's three interlocking polygons, each of them costing about $10,000.

Importantly, the $30,000 in design work that led to the new logo didn't come from your pocket—unless you've donated to the Friends of the Multnomah County Library, the 501(c)3 group that goes to bat for the library system. According to Jeremy Graybill, marketing and online engagement director at the library, the organization picked up the full tab. Local firm Coates Kokes was tapped for the design job, winning out in a competitive process (it's unclear how many firms vied for the job).

The logo comes at a time libraries are trying to shake off any lingering notions they're just for books. In a post announcing the insignia earlier this week, the library describes it like this: "The library’s new logo will help create consistent visual standards for all library services. This simple geometric pattern — an “L,” a book, a portal, a window, a laptop, an arrow — the logo is whatever you want it to be. Anything is possible. Just as it is at your library."

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Some public money is going into this thing. According to spokesperson Shawn Cunningham, the library system will spend about $2,420 slapping the new logo on 22 signs. And it spent $1,325 to have its mobile app updated with the logo. The system will use existing office supplies containing the old logos until they run dry, Cunningham says.

Love or hate the new logo—and we've been seeing a lot of social media shade—it appears it was created in a far cheaper manner than other library update efforts. Seattle paid more than 10 times what Portland did for a rebranding recently—and the cost would have risen to almost $2 million with the price of replacing signage and other materials factored in.

Anyway: What do you think?

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