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GDUSA Green Newsletter

November 2013

green news


I don’t know about you, but I rarely have a moment to stop and think about anything – life is too fast, business is too tough, television is too rich. But once a year, in order to do our package design awards program right, I am forced to consider how the packaging segment is evolving. There are fascinating trends afoot, but for now I’d note one: sustainable packaging has gone mainstream. Think reduced packaging materials, reusable and refillable packages, more biodegradable plastics, increased use of paper and paperboard, transportation and energy as decisional factors, the integration of sustainable packaging into branding. Interesting stuff; I should try to stop and think more often. Nah, not gonna happen.

— Gordon Kaye,






The Weather Channel has relaunched the brand with strategic design agency Trollbäck + Company. The firm’s graphics packaging included the rebrand of Severe Weather show properties (Tornado Central and Hurricane Central); virtual 3D sets; primetime promo packaging toolkits (including Sunday Night Promos); a motion control mountain-view time-lapse with typographic lighting; and live-action talent IDs showcasing a deeper view of network personalities. Remarks Creative Director Elliott Chaffer, who led the Trollbäck team: “The Weather Channel serves millions via on air, online and mobile, so we set out to build a robust, future-proof structure with brand cohesion and even more mass appeal.The new look embraces negative space to give visual balance to the constant stream of data. With such a huge amount of simultaneous information to convey, our approach was to ‘Zen-ify’ the viewing experience wherever possible to deliver the core information faster...” The design firm also developed physical set designs to interact with the onscreen graphics; modern wardrobes to fit harmoniously into the new look; and a new tone-of-voice guide with a friendly and respectable tilt. SEE MORE >





The rebrand of EDP by Sagmeister & Walsh – the client is a world leader in producing renewable entergy and number one on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – was a winner of the Justified: AIGA Design Competition. The competition judges the “effectiveness” of design and its relationship to the client’s specific needs. The famous design team created a modular identity that is transparent and customizable. Notes Stefan Sagmeister: “We did not have to take the usual energy rebranding route of depicting a green sun or a leafy tree. When you’re actually green, you don’t have to flaunt it.” READ MORE >






For half a century, GDUSA has been presenting competitions that focus attention on areas of growth and opportunity for graphic designers, and emphasize the value that design brings to business and society. Our package design competition is the fastest growing for a simple reason: in a world of fragmented audiences, eroding loyalty and global competition, package design is increasingly the difference maker in purchasing decisions.

Please note: If the project you are entering is printed on a Neenah paper grade, in whole or part, your entry fee is waived!





The Sustainable Forestry Initiative recognized Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer of the National Geographic Society, with the SFI President’s Award during its recent annual conference in San Antonio. Wegner’s many contributions – both personally and on behalf of National Geographic Society – have been instrumental in raising awareness of the benefits associated with utilizing forest certification as a proof point for sourcing forest products responsibly and for modeling sustainability principles into daily decisions. “Hans’ commitment to sustainability is matched only by the depth of his knowledge and his passion for raising awareness among others,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. “Hans believes that as a publisher, National Geographic Society has a crucial role to play in encouraging responsible forestry practices and helping to build the foundation of a sustainability model for all users of forest products. He is a true leader in the cause of sustainable forestry.” READ MORE >



Each year Bloomberg L.P. issues a report illustrating the company’s vision, position and progress on sustainability. The report is delivered as a PDF document that follows industry standard guidelines on sustainability reporting (know as GRI reporting). This year, different than in previous years, Bloomberg officials also sought to develop a complementary microsite to feature highlights of their accomplishments. New York design firm Two Twelve proposed that the Bloomberg Sustainability site and the GRI report be seamlessly integrated. True to the Bloomberg brand, the resulting site employs the latest technology, and the architecture is designed to make the dense data accessible. Animated information graphics allow users to link directly to the report and to take a deeper dive into the data by providing a path to the actual GRI report. SEE MORE >




Nike has released “Making.” It’s a new app to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of various materials they may use. “Innovation is in Nike's DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike's design process,” contends Lee Holman, Nike VP of Apparel Design. “We've created the app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet.” The designer-specific tool ranks materials used in apparel based on four environmental impact areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. Through direct comparisons, designers can quickly see how material choices stack up. The app was created by Nike with insights and feedback from students at London College of Fashion's Centre for Sustainable Fashion. LEARN MORE >





Environmentally friendly cleaning products have proliferated in the past decade. To eliminate confusion, a pioneer brand – Simple Green – has restaged its spray packaging with an eye to both brand equity and improved sustainability. “The goal was to go all the way back to ground zero, so to speak, to analyze the materials we were using, where we could make enhancements, where we could improve our sustainability, and of equal importance, where we could provide a very specific and prolific brand identity,” says Jeff Hyder, SVP of Sales and Operations. Regarding branding, a key was a new proprietary shape to element confusion with competitors. As for the sustainability goal, Sunshine Makers evaluated every aspect of its previous packaging, from bottle-preform weight to the number of corrugated dividers in cases of finished goods, to create more eco-friendly packaging. The result was a reduction of resin in the bottle and trigger sprayer, use of postconsumer plastic in the bottle, elimination of metal from the sprayer and, unexpectedly, less operational waste and higher line speeds. The new PET bottle is also recyclable. LEARN MORE >






Winners of the first Sustainable Beauty Awards were recently honored at an awards reception at the Marriott Champs Elysées hotel in Paris. The event was hosted alongside the European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. L’Oreal’s Garnier was named Sustainability Pioneer for its “beauty brigade” program, which diverts beauty packaging from landfills. Working with Terracycle, the program has reportedly collected 2.5 million pieces of packaging waste and upcycled it into new products. Greek company, Apivita, was runner-up because of the social impact of its pastilles project, launched in 2012 in partnership with Medicins Sans Frontiers, with all proceeds going to social causes. Other winners at the international event, sponsored by Organic Monitor: Sustainable Packaging to Laboratoires Expanscience, a French company that has reduced the packaging footprint of its Mustela range of baby care products; Sustainability Leadership to Weleda for its value-creation model through which the Swiss company has spearheaded projects that cover various aspects of sustainability; and Sustainable Ingredients to IF&F for its LMR Rose Water Essential that has a lower ecological impact than traditional rose waters. LEARN MORE >




Pentagram has completed a comprehensive rebranding of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Partner DJ Stout, Associate Julie Savasky and designer Carla Delgado in the Austin TX office teamed up on the project. Included are a new identity, revamped print collateral, and an overhauled website. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, a 66-acre park on the shores of White Rock Lake, is a Dallas institution and a hub of activity for the city. Explains Stout: “The Arboretum is such an important part of the Dallas social scene, so ingrained in the culture of the place, I thought it deserved its own ‘Big D.’” The icon is based on a Roman capital letter with a spring of greenery curling down from its top serif; the letterform is black but the sprig color changes with the seasons. MORE INFO >


Angela Morelli, a graphic designer and water conservation advocate, uses clear explanations and minimalist graphics in her interactive infographic, "The Water We Eat." Her focus: how the processes behind food production mean we each “eat” nearly 1,000 gallons of water each day. That amount is more, she points out, than is used for bathing, cleaning, cooking and flushing. As shown here, one kilo (2.2 lbs.) of beef requires more than 4,000 gallons of water. Morelli’s infographic site was created last year but, reports Adweek, “the site is still gathering momentum and reaching new audiences...” SEE MORE >



Colorado state officials have unveiled a logo and an accompanying slogan ‒ “It's our nature” ‒ as the focal points of a new Colorado brand. In what is described as the most ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state, Colorado is incorporating the logo into every activity of state government from print to signs to collateral to websites. "We have a state flag and seal, but until now Colorado has never had a unified brand,” says Aaron Kennedy, the state's Chief Marketing Officer. The symbol was designed by Evan Hecox in response to Governor John Hickenlooper’s query: “What makes Colorado Colorado?” LEARN MORE >




The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful are partnering with online grocer, FreshDirect, to feature messaging from their national “I Want to Be Recycled” public service campaign on all delivery boxes. It is a part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling. The cardboard delivery boxes featuring messaging from the PSA campaign will be delivered throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania. The boxes include the line, “I want to be a cereal box. Recycle Me.” They also direct customers to visit a website where they can search to find curbside locations or recycling centers in their area. “Research shows that people identify the simple act of recycling as their most visible contribution to a better environment,” said Brenda Pulley, Senior VP, Recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Through our partnership with FreshDirect, we will increase our reach to encourage people to recycle more often.” The overall campaign was created pro bono by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O'Dell. SEE MORE >