In Search of a Theme: How to Market Services through Graphic Design
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The Information Resource Center (IRC) of the UT Southwestern Medical Center Library decided as part of a visioning exercise in Fall 2000 that developing an online, real-time virtual reference service for our affiliated clients was both extremely important and highly desirable. After investigating several potential products, we eventually licensed with Library Systems & Services, LLC (LSSI) to use their Virtual Reference Desk software. However, once the purchase was complete and all the contracts were signed, the need to market the new service became our next priority. While we developed a detailed marketing plan for the service that did include both flyers and newsletter articles, this poster focuses specifically on the effort we made to market the service on the Library's Web site. To get started, we had to consider some very basic but essential concepts of graphic design: purpose, design specifications, and limitations of images; "branding" of similar services; and delivery and placement of images. Initially, a single, static Web page was developed to provide a single Web service point for several similar services, and the new page was "launched" at the same time as the new service. However, because of low response or interest, a second tier of Web graphic marketing was implemented with a slight change in design and wording to clarify the service, which eventually increased point-of-use availability to the most important Library Web pages.