Is that the Library Library of Congress, or the Library of Congress?


The Library of Congress changed its logo last week, and some book fans are less than thrilled with the institution’s new look.

The new logo features the word “library” in a large block font, with “Library of Congress” in orange to the right. To some, it appears to say, “Library Library of Congress.”

Graphic designer Paula Scher of the firm Pentagram created the new logo. She has previously designed logos for the Museum of Modern Art, The Public Theater and Microsoft’s Windows 8.


The new look replaces a previous logo, which combined the look of an open book with the American flag — and had the word “library” just once.

On Twitter, several users reacted to the redesign with confusion and disdain:


Reactions were mixed in the comments section on a post announcing the new logo on the Library of Congress website. “‘Epic.’ ‘Magnificent.’ ‘Colossal,’” wrote a commenter named Finn. “These are a few of the words I could not decide upon to precede the word ‘failure.’” A commenter named Salman Haider disagreed, however, writing, “Great move and beautiful logo, reflecting a more user-centric approach as per the Library’s new strategic plan.”

Scher credits Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden with the idea of emphasizing the word “library,” Quartz writes.

“The goal was to move the library from a remote governmental facility to an accessible cultural organization,” Scher said. “Before I started the process, they were already abandoning the old logo. … Dr. Hayden was anxious to use ‘Library’ instead, because it is more readily understood than an acronym.”

Scher said she wasn’t fazed or surprised by criticism of the new logo.

“I totally stand by this design,” she said. “I have experienced this sort [of] backlash, now rather regularly. Give it time.”