With the twin aim to start a dialogue around children’s library scene in India and to nurture capacities of librarians in the country, Parag organised the first edition of an annual Children’s Library Unconference in March 2017. We were tasked to design the look for this one-day event which was conceived as an informal space where library educators and others engaged with children’s literature get to meet, exchange ideas, talk about the best practices and challenges.
Snakes and Ladders, a game that has roots in an ancient Indian board game, set the concept for the first look from where it evolved to the final design shown here. Made of books arranged in the same grid as in the game and interspersed with ladders of different types, the visual shows children interacting with ladders and books, being looked over by a few adults who are the librarians and educators. Rather than stick to just one kind of a ladder we infused the illustration with a variety of fun ways to climb to the next level, which is a symbol of what a good library space should be: growth through reading, never boring and forever paving the way to adventure. On the other hand, some ladders which are somewhat tricky to climb are representative of the challenges currently facing the library space in India. A partially empty canvas at the top implies a growing space, a game that’s still being laid out and the rules of which are still being written. The grid of pencil-drawn book covers in grayscale is used as a backdrop in stark contrast to group of children in various stages of reading and discovery.
Parag dreams of a bright future for children’s libraries in India and this conference is just an initial nudge towards realising that. An initiative of the Tata Trusts, Parag promotes vibrant and active libraries with the aim to engage children and encourage reading for joy.
We are proud to be associated with the great work Parag is doing in the children’s literature space. Since 2013, we have been working with them on projects of varying sizes and scope, from creating an award that honours excellence in Indian children’s literature to branding and designing an app for children’s books in addition to designing for events, courses and a diary.