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State Library Victoria

A window into new spaces

14 February 2020

In December 2019, the State Library Victoria, Australia’s oldest and busiest public library re-opened its doors to unveil 13 incredible new spaces as part of the Vision 2020 project.

Vision 2020 was an ambitious $88.1 million redevelopment that increased the Library’s public space by 40 percent and seating by 70 percent. The grand opening ushered in an exciting new chapter for State Library Victoria as an ever-evolving, dynamic community hub—a library for the future.

Liquorice was engaged to develop an above-the-line launch campaign that raised awareness of the new spaces among existing and new audiences and re-positioned State Library Victoria as the beating heart of Melbourne’s cultural landscape.

The re-opened Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, the Library’s original reading room (constructed in 1856) and one of Melbourne’s most breathtaking heritage spaces. The space will act as a reading room by day and an opulent events venue by night. Image: Patrick Rodriguez.

Traditionally, the Library had been perceived as a formal institution primarily used for reading, research and other academic purposes. The challenge was to change this perception and attract a new wave of library users with spaces for children, start-ups and small business, and more.

The completion of the Vision 2020 re-development provided the perfect opportunity to remind the public that State Library Victoria always was, and always will be 'the people’s university'. There are no barriers to access, no exams to pass in order to qualify, no prescriptive pace of learning; it provides access to an ‘emporium of learning’ and all the public needs to bring is its curiosity.

Just add curiosity

The campaign tagline 'Just Add Curiosity' was developed by State Library Victoria as an invitation to the public to begin a journey of their own choosing through the myriad of spaces, resources and possibilities that the Library offers. The word ‘curious’ conjured up visions of peering into the unknown, inspiring us to develop a wordmark with an oversized O that acts as a window into the new spaces. Horizontal and vertical variations of the lockup provided greater flexibility across digital and print applications, while a refined black and white colour palette positioned the Library as a sophisticated cultural institution.

A two-phase outdoor campaign was designed to coincide with the grand re-opening: phase one offered a sneak peek of the new spaces, while phase two revealed them in all their grandeur. Large scale drop-down banners (designed by the Library’s in-house team) also adorned the facade of the Library itself, making for a bold entrance to the historic building.

For more than 160 years State Library Victoria has been a place of knowledge and creativity, free and welcoming to all. It is an extraordinary treasure and opens up new worlds of imagination and learning – all you need to bring is curiosity.

– Kate Torney, Chief Executive Officer, State Library Victoria

It was important that the campaign lockup and graphic devices could be used across static and animated digital touch points, so we created an animated version of the primary lockup. We also created animated end-boards for video content and social media, giving the Library the flexibility to roll out additional animated content as needed. As part of the Library's transformation, the new spaces featured large digital signage which provided the perfect opportunity to showcase these animations.

Entrusting Liquorice to create a visual identity for our ‘Just add curiosity’ campaign was easy. The team won us over with their professionalism and ability to craft a robust design for a big brand moment. The results were outstanding – dynamic, clever, adaptable and bold. The design delivered at every level. I would work with them again in a heartbeat.

– Stephanie Corne, Marketing Manager, State Library Victoria

The Quad, the ground floor of the Library, connecting all four of its activity courtyards, with the information centre at its heart. Image: Trevor Mein.
Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter, a purpose-built space for children and families to read, learn and play. Image: Trevor Mein.

To round out the campaign, we also rolled out a suite of digital advertisements. The sleek lockup animation and bold black and white colour palette ensured the ads would cut through the noise and leave a lasting impression.

We’ve been so proud to watch this campaign roll out across the city and online, and to see what a positive reception it has garnered in the media. If you haven’t visited the Library in a while, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with this cultural touchstone.






Project Management: Anna Gowers

Creative Direction: Shane Loorham

Design: Steve Mitchell

Animation: Kamal Krishna, Andrew Fiscalini

HTML5 Development: Liam Mullens

Architecture: Architectus, Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Photography: Steve Mitchell, Patrick Rodriguez, Trevor Mein

We live and work on the lands of the Wurundjeri people.
We acknowledge their ownership of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.