New Branding for the State Library

Monday, September 9, 2019

You may have noticed that the library recently began using a new logo on our website and other publications.  We are using new branding as part of a move toward modern styling and to help create a unique identity for the State Library.

About the State Library

Established in 1812, the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC), is the catalyst for exceptional library services in North Carolina. As the principal library of state government, The SLNC builds the capacity of all North Carolina libraries and develops and supports access to specialized collections for the people of North Carolina. There are three sections of the State Library:

  • The Government and Heritage Library - Provides print and digital information about North Carolina and research expertise
  • Library Development - Supports libraries throughout the state
  • Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped - Serves blind and physically handicapped readers



In rebranding, we sought to expand citizen awareness and understanding of the wide breadth of services the SLNC provides and increase access to its resources. The majority of the SLNC’s patrons will access its resources via the web; therefore, we have noted the importance of finding simple and efficient ways to promote the website through our marketing efforts.

There has also been a longstanding and common confusion between the State Library of North Carolina and the NC State University Libraries; our similar names—with one being commonly referred to as the State Library and the other as the NC State Library, close proximity to one another, and the common use of red throughout both institutions’ branding at times contributes to this confusion.

In rebranding, we set out to:

  1. Increase recognition and differentiation by developing a unique brand
  2. Promote access to the SLNC’s resources via
  3. Clarify and communicate the role of the SLNC
  4. Create a modern set of logos and maintain approachable styling

Branding System Snapshot

The library’s old and new logos


We developed a new logo that communicates the functions of the SLNC and provides a built-in value proposition to our audiences, while the inclusion of our URL serves to promote access to the SLNC’s resources.

The new logo with Wordmark SLNC, Tagline: NC Research. Library Support. Talking Books., and URL

The State Library has been rebranded as “SLNC” to establish clear differentiation among similarly named institutions, and we have maintained the use of a serif font as a nod to tradition and the SLNC’s long history. We opted to use the font Goudy for its modern but gentle serifs. For taglines, Gotham was a natural choice for a sans-serif font as it connects the SLNC back to its larger department, the DNCR (Department of Natural and Cultural Resources) which utilizes Gotham throughout its branding. The result communicates visual balance between authority, tradition, and modern approachability.


Deep navy blue is now represented as our main brand color. As a symbol for the State Library, the cardinal dictates red be represented in the color palette and acts as an accent color. Turquoise adds warmth and approachability and rounds out the color palette. 


The logo for the Government and Heritage Library

Three versions of the new logo on cardinal red, deep blue and turquoise backgrounds

At times, the sections of the SLNC require the ability to market themselves as a subsidiary. To this end, each of the library sections is represented by a brand color; the Government and Heritage Library uses cardinal red, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped uses a deep blue, and Library Development uses a turquoise green. Each section now has its own sub-branded logo utilizing the updated palette.

Altogether, this branding system presents not only a fresh face for the SLNC and its sections, but also hopes to highlight the role the SLNC plays in providing access to valuable services to the citizens of North Carolina. 

Kaili Sullivan, Graphic Designer
Irene Patrick, Library & Info Management Systems Librarian