By Maria Bee
Design and Illustration Portfolio
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Unlock New Worlds

collateral, identity, illustration, signage

I worked with my hometown library on a design concept to address limited early child literacy. Once a child is engaged with the library, there are many positive activities available that build literacy skills, so regular attendance is key to making an impact.

My approach was to reimagine the privilege of owning a library card and make the experience visual and memorable for kids, no smartphones required.

The program and cast of characters

The program and cast of characters

The Unlock New Worlds concept builds on kids’ innate love of storytelling and shows them how stories can come to life at the library. Colorful characters called BooKeys guide children through the program and spark their imaginations.

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The library card, reinvented

The library card, reinvented

Unlock New Worlds is a new and magical way for children to engage with the library. Instead of a laminated card, kids receive a library key and key ring. This key becomes a special object that is a delight and privilege for the child to use. They earn a BooKey for their key ring by checking out books, attending storytimes and special events, or participating in summer reading. With every small reward and exciting experience, kids are developing a positive association with reading.

Outreach is key

Outreach is key

To reach families that don't already visit the library, small packets are handed out at local schools and daycares. The library key is secured in a belly band, and inside are two booklets.

One booklet introduces the program to the child and has a perforated guide showing all the BooKeys. The other, for the parent or guardian, discusses literacy and the five key practices to get a child ready to read.

Finding stories everywhere

Finding stories everywhere

BooKeys become a regular part of the library experience through other materials, signage, props, toys, and giveaways.

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