17 November 2011

Quotes for the Teen Scene

I mostly don't talk about work here (I like to keep this blog separate for art), but I was so excited by the day's events, I just had to share. The new furniture for my teen section at the library is finally arriving next week, so I'm scurrying around trying to get ready. One thing left undone was to apply the wall quotes I ordered from http://www.wallwritten.com. This company is fantastic--on the website, they provide a design function so you can create your own quotes, and I really went to town. The colors of the front sides of our new chairs are going to be teal, purple, and lime green (the backs are blonde wood with chrome legs--very trendy), so I went for an overall color scheme of the same with the quotes, with orange accents. Being the typeface maven that I am (my former career was movie title designer), I was excited to get to be artistic in selecting typefaces, colors, and layouts.

The package of quotes arrived awhile ago, but I haven't made the time to do the work--it's difficult to do it when the library is open, which it is 9:30 to 9:00 daily. Also, I knew I probably couldn't do it by myself (too right). I finally decided today was the day, and told my friend Patrice (head of the reference dept.), who promptly volunteered to help me put them up. She is the best combination of calm, resourceful, and practical, and I knew she would be the perfect collaborator, so I gratefully accepted. It took us all day, but we did it! Here are photos:

This is the prep work. The quotes come as three layers: backing grid on heavy paper, the vinyl letters, and then a thin sticky layer to which the letters adhere. You first hang everything up, as we did here, to find placement and get them level. Then you take them down, burnish them thoroughly from the grid side, then peel that off (which takes a long time and a lot of patience) and stick them to the wall (a harrowing experience of trying to get them straight without ruining them!). Then you burnish again, and peel away the sticky layer to leave the vinyl letters on the wall.

Some of the quotes were in two or even three parts, and WallWritten obligingly puts diamond shapes on each layer so you can apply one and then match diamonds to place the other parts. Here are all the quotes. (Sorry, some are a bit blurry--I took these with my Droid.) I surveyed the teens by sending out a list of about 30 quotes and asking them to pick their top three; we ended up choosing five quotes (getting permission from the authors to use them). Three are from young adult authors (Diane Duane, Cornelia Funke and Stephen Chbosky), and the other two from people who just said something clever about reading.

In two weeks or so, the new furniture will be installed, the rest of the art will be done (I still have some stenciling to do--there will be an area rug with a paisley pattern, so I got some paisley stencils to put a pattern on the walls and the bookshelves), the poster hangers will be mounted, the computers will be there, and it will be a real teen section at last!

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