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Category Archives: design

It is with a great deal of excitement that I offer at the bottom of this entry a database of 2D barcodes that describe all 60 Brooklyn Public Library locations and services.

A 2D barcode is an image that corresponds to a web address (the http://www.website.com is actually coded in the barcode image). Since each of the Brooklyn Public Library branches has a unique web address, I was able to use kaywa.com to generate barcodes for each of the branches web spaces.

How do you read this crazy looking barcode? With your cellphone of course. Many Nokia phones as well as the iPhone offer 2D barcode decoders. If your phone has a camera and is web-enabled you can probably do this, so don’t be intimidated. It is as easy as taking a picture! The decoder uses your phone’s camera to translate a picture of the barcode into the coded web address and then links you to that page on your mobile web browser.

I got interested in this idea after hearing that this technology is fully blown up in Japan and that CitySearch San Francisco has been using 2Dbarcodes to identify restaurants. Why not create stickers for library branches? Why not add these images to our print flyers, thus enriching an old-fashioned paper format with readily accessible web information?  Update: check out this online zine promoting 2D barcode projects and all of the exciting possibilities.

Below you will find 4 different links for each of our Brooklyn Public Library buildings. I’ve presented the barcodes in 2 different formats, datamatrix and QR. The first two links are PNG image files that can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Word docs, Photoshop, or Illustrator. Just copy and paste the barcode and you add a web page and all that interactivity to your flyer! The second two links are to PDF files of label templates. Each sheet has 6 stickers, and can be printed on Avery matte white labels size 8254, available from Staples here. Stick information about your local library anywhere! In addition I’ve added a link to PDF files of “ex libris” bookplate stickers that offer a barcode image linking you to the Brooklyn Public Library homepage. That should keep you busy and make your books look cool.

In the future, with the success of the OpenLibrary project’s goal to give every book its own web page, 2D barcodes could prove useful in offering online information about any given book. The possibilities are endless. This, my friends, is our first easily accessible, consumer-driven attempt at linking the physical world to the digital world. Well, actually that’s debatable, but I’m pretty damn psyched about this particular step. PLEASE people, USE the barcodes I’ve generated and made easy for you to distribute and stick anywhere and everywhere appropriate for the dispersal of the encoded information. You can always generate your own stickers for any site at blank.com, but I’ve made it particularly easy for you to spread hype about your local library. You’ll note that these stickers still promote the library without a fancypants barcode reader: they still say the name of your local branch on them. Promote your library yourself! Go to town with it!

Download bookplates here.

Please report any errors you may find in the database below.
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Arlington

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Bay Ridge

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Bedford

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Borough Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Brighton Beach

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Brooklyn Heights

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Brower Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Brownsville

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Bushwick

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Business Library

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Canarsie

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Carroll Gardens

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Central Library

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Clarendon

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Clinton Hill

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Coney Island

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Cortelyou image

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Crown Heights

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Cypress Hills

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Dekalb

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Dyker

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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East Flatbush

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Eastern Parkway

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Flatbush

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Flatlands

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Fort Hamilton

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Gerritsen Beach

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Gravesend

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Greenpoint

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Highlawn

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Homecrest

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Jamaica Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Kensington

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Kings Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Kings Highway

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Leonard

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Macon

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Mapleton

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Marcy

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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McKinley Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Midwood

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Mill Basin

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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New Lots

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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New Utrecht

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Pacific

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Paerdegat

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Park Slope

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Red Hook

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Rugby

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Ryder

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Saratoga

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Sheepshead Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Spring Creek

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Stone Avenue

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Sunset Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Ulmer Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Walt Whitman

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Washington Irving

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Williamsburgh

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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Windsor Terrace

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

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This totem pole-style monstrosity of a chart you are looking at represents the perpetual beta state of good service design. I’ve snagged and manipulated Jesse James Garrett’s beautiful chart, The Elements of User Experience. Download the original pdf here and marvel that this was done in the year 2000. Garrett was clear that his picture is incomplete, that it does not “account for secondary considerations” and that it “does not describe a development process”. Just for thrills and in the crudest of ways I tried to add that dimension to his chart; the iterative development process is illustrated with repetition. Enjoy.

Taking a brief break from writing because I’ve got like 847656483 things to read.  If all I do is write and never read, I’ll become an awfully boring writer.  Before I take this break (which could be 2 days or could be 12 days, you never know), I want to leave you with a sentiment from Michael Bierut of Design Observer.  I picked up his book, 79 short essays on design (basically a best-of-the-blog), and in the first paragraph of the first essay he says:

Graphic Designers are lucky.  As the people who structure much of the world’s communications, we get to vicariously partake of as many fields of interest as we have clients.  In a single day, a designer talk about real estate with one client, cancer cures with another, and forklift trucks with a third. 

Librarians get to enjoy this same privledge, whether they are librarians designing service interfaces and creating pathfinders or they are organizing programs and working at reference desks.  It is our responsibility to be well-rounded.  There’s nothing worse than when a profession or subject matter gets too self-absorbed, too introspective.  I know that I’ve always been annoyed by art that is about art… the kind of stuff that you have to have a degree in art history and know the work of 4 other people just to relate to the piece.  Libraries and librarians with libro-centric tunnel vision should look to this attitude that Beirut is putting out there.  We’ll all be better at our jobs if we do this.

So, like I said, I’m going to read some other stuff for a while.  I’ll be back.

One other thing:

Just became aware that John Maeda will be doing the AIGA NY Fresh Dialogue 24.  That will be awesome.  Go to it.

In the study of decorative arts, furniture is often referred to as microarchitecture. Perhaps one of the most literal examples of furniture emulating an architectural style is the “skyscraper furniture” of Paul T. Frankl. I had the good fortune of buying a Frankl-attributed piece some years back, and sadly the time just came to pass on this amazing bookshelf to a new owner. Below I’ve posted a picture of this exceptional piece of microarchitecture (in order to publicly immortalize it before it becomes a treasure in someone else’s private collection), a scan from the cover of Frankl’s 1928 classic book “New Diemnsions”, and links to a few resources about Frankl.

1) Christopher Long’s book about Frankl from Yale University Press

2) A collection of images of Frankl’s work from Architonic

3) Search Abebooks for Frankl’s writing, New Dimensions (1928), Space for Living (1938), and Form and Reform (1930). Space for Living is a real treasure in terms of modernist graphic layout- this book is a piece of design history in and of itself.