how do you make a library sexy?

the mitchell library opened its doors on 9 march, 1910. in 2010 it celebrates one hundred years of collecting, and service to the people of NSW and australia. vince frost, realizing that many people knew very little about the mitchell library’s collections, launched an idea to adopt an everyday language. in honor of this centenary year design agency frost*  created a visually rich alphabet. each letter is a composite of mitchell library’s objects including maps, books, paintings and relics.

vince frost : one hundred alphabet ‘one hundred alphabet’ by design agency frost*

for instance, the O is made up of: – the holey dollar, australia’s first distinctive coinage, c1813; – a picture of cecil healey, 100 yards freestyle champion, c1904; – a picture by sarah stone of a perspective view of sir ashton lever’s museum london 1785; – a watercolour of sydney by joseph fowles, 1840; – jean garling, a dancer, arts critic, passionate family historian, and a great benefactor to the state library; – and a watercolour by irishman kenelm digby.

twice a week, until the launch of ONE hundred exhibition on 9 march 2010, the mitchell library will release a new letter.

vince frost : one hundred alphabet a clever campaign

beautifully designed, the alphabet celebrates mitchell library’s collection in a new way, revealing pieces from below stairs. this creative process began with O, U and T, …

vince frost : one hundred alphabet the centenary celebration not only honors the library’s past but asserts its relevance to the future.

the tone, message, personality and approach – is to take the library OUT into the community…

vince frost : one hundred alphabet

take out, out back, out post, out loud, find out, inside out, shout out, outstanding, out of this world…

vince frost : one hundred alphabet catalogue

vince frost : one hundred alphabet merchandising


‘I think we have to practice what we preach – we designers help our clients to create a presence, to strategically position themselves, to do well and to achieve great things.

I know quite a few designers and design companies don’t think the same way, they don’t have a website or they don’t have a ‘brand’. they get on with what they are doing, but they’re not always really good at promoting their own business.

a lot of design companies don’t advertise. advertising companies don’t advertise. it is like an unsaid thing within the industry, not to shout about what you do,

but then how do people find you? how do potential clients know you exist?’ vince frost to designboom

as part of the design aerobics series, designboom currently runs online courses entitled ‘self promotion’ and ‘graphic design in 2010’. more info here