The L!BRARY Initiative

Merit Award

The Robin Hood Foundation initiated an effort to remodel or create ten new libraries in New York City public elementary schools with money raised from corporate donors. In 2004, the foundation continued the program with a second cohort of 21 new libraries in neglected schools throughout the five boroughs. The designers named the project The L!brary Initiative and designed a simple, flexible identity based on the wordmark.

Collaborating with Robin Hood, the architects, and school librarians, principals, and New York Board of Education personnel, Pentagram created signage and other environmental graphics at each of the libraries. Each library was tailored to its school and student body. In an inexpensive way, the customized graphics help personalize the state-of-the-art libraries and make them feel like the students' own. At the same time, they complement the imaginative qualities of the architects' spaces and reinforce the library as a source for words and images.


Jury Comments: 

"This bold inexpensive graphic solution helps to personalize the library space. The graphics and color reinforce a fresh and comforting library environment for the young readers. The impact of the happy faces overlooking the young readers was very refreshing."

Design Firm: 



The Robin Hood Foundation

Location City: 

New York, New York

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Peter Mauss/Esto (P.S. 10, P.S. 36, P.S. 93, P.S. 287) Kevin Chu/KCJP (P.S. 86)

Design Team: 

Michael Bierut (Principal in Charge), Tamara McKenna, Andrea Wang


Richard H. Lewis Architect (project architects), Peter Arkle (illustrator, P.S. 287), Dorothy Kresz (photographer, P.S. 10, P.S. 93), Lynn Pauley (illustrator, P.S. 36, P.S. 86)


Mega Media Concepts, Ltd. (P.S. 10, P.S. 36, P.S. 93, P.S. 287); Applied Image, Inc. (P.S. 287)

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