Berkshire Athenaeum's logo gets makeover

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PITTSFIELD — For the first time in nearly 150 years, The Berkshire Athenaeum has been rebranded.

Replacing the library's seal is a purple and teal logo that was inspired by the three arches of the original building's entrance, which stands for knowledge, wisdom and inspiration.

"It's been our logo since 1871," athenaeum Director Alex Reczkowski said Tuesday, referencing the library's seal, which it received at the time of its charter. "And I'm sure we can all read the Latin."

On Tuesday afternoon, a dozen employees wearing shirts that read the new tagline, "Wonder Inside," gathered in the library for the announcement of its new brand. They were joined by city residents and community leaders.

For the past year, a group of employees, trustees and others have been working with TSM Design, of Springfield, to come up with a new brand that exemplifies the library and those who work there.

When meeting with the design firm, the group emphasized that the library employees honor history, are committed to public service, value their work and are ready for a change, Reczkowski said.

The design firm, which also did work for the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, came up with the triple arches that evoke the spirit of the Berkshire Hills, he said.

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Its colors, fonts and design intend to represent the friendly library where everyone is welcome.

Kathleen Reilly, supervisor of local history, said that she knows that some question the relevance of a library in the age of Google, but she believes they're more important now than ever.

"Libraries are the great equalizers," she said.

Each day, 1,000 people visit the library and 29,000 city residents hold library cards.

The new library cards, which were given out on Tuesday, tout its new logo. Its new website will launch Wednesday.

The rebranding project totaled between $10,000 and $15,000, Reczkowski said.

"The Berkshire Athenaeum is truly a special place and provides so many, from our youngest to our seniors, with amazing resources, activities, and an opportunity to indulge their love of reading," Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer said in a statement. "I am thrilled to see that the Athenaeum's new logo, and its meaning, perfectly captures what the Library means to our community."

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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