Creating cohesive branding for local events


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Creating cohesive branding for local events

Our local USGBC communities host events all over the country, but we know that we have three very large events each year. GreenerBuilder, Impact and Rocky Mountain Green are our highest-profile USGBC community events. Our marketing team decided that creating short style guides for these three events could help direct the development of assets such as the website, signage, on-site materials and other collateral. We wanted these events to have some cohesiveness across the board, to give them their own look and feel apart from our other national and international USGBC events.

For example, we included color swatches to direct the look and feel, as well as guidance about which logo lockups are appropriate for web and print use. There is a section that suggests photography—this is meant to be general support, so community staff know what to look for from their photo banks or stock resources.

USGBC community event branding guides

Another element we like to focus on is social media graphics. Since these events are high-profile for our communities, we want them to be able to promote the events on social media, when appropriate. We usually generate a handful of graphics and guidance about which platforms to share on. We also provide some presentation slide templates and examples. Given that each event will always have presentations, we want to equip the community with all the tools they will need to create a cohesive event.

While each community event has its own style guide, we designed these as a cohesive trio of suggestions to ensure these events felt connected.

Learn more about how we brand USGBC events

Branded tote bags as a fun holiday party giveaway


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Branded tote bags as a fun holiday party giveaway

For the USGBC office holiday party in 2017, we booked a screen printer to be live on-site printing tote bags for staff. To go along with that, the events team needed the design team to create the designs for printing.

We wanted to keep these playful and fun, and brainstormed some cute phrases related to our green building mission to use in our designs. We went with “totes sustainable” and “we’ve got green building in the bag” on two of our designs. Our entire creative team played a part in this project, and all three of our designers contributed final designs.

Branded tote bags for the USGBC holiday party

We were able to select the ink color used for printing, and then the screen printers took it from there! They were on-site all afternoon and able to print the totes right there for staff at the party. This was a really fun project to see come to life—a different take on branding and a nice way to take our mission in a playful direction.

Screen-printed tote bags for the holiday party at USGBC

If you have a party, fundraiser, or team-building event coming up, think about doing a custom project like this to give attendees something cool to take home. Also, the bonus: reusable tote bags for everyone! View the entire project.

See more USGBC design projects

Sharing the story of the Top 10 States for LEED


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Sharing the story of the Top 10 States for LEED

Every year, USGBC and GBCI highlight the U.S. states that are leading the way with LEED certification. By looking at regional census data, we determine the top 10 states for LEED green building per capita.

Our marketing team then produces an infographic to illustrate the number of projects certified and the millions of square feet certified the previous year, as well as the LEED-certified gross square feet per capita. This gives us the bigger picture on how different states are performing year by year. Did your state make the top 10 list for 2017? How about in 2016?

Top 10 States for LEED

We create these infographics to recognize achievements in LEED around the country and to show how the Top 10 States are setting a high bar for excellence in green building. Through social media, presentations and media outreach, the infographic helps to tell their stories and share their success with their communities.

For more details on the Top 10 States for LEED in 2017, read our press release.

Learn more about how our design team creates infographics

Designing LEED print ads for international audiences


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Designing LEED print ads for international audiences

Last year, the USGBC design team was tasked with creating a new print ad series for both China and India. We had a goal to make LEED feel more localized, indigenous to China and India, and integrated with the issues the country is facing.

The ads would focus on various issues that LEED addresses, including energy, indoor environmental quality and water/waste issues. The key audiences we wanted to reach included building facility managers, LEED clients, manufacturers of building materials and LEED APs, just to mention a few.

As I designed these pieces, I wanted to focus primarily on photography, with typography as a secondary design element. We had statistics that covered issues about water, air quality and energy use, so I wanted to use these a typographical elements rather than just supporting copy on the ad.

First, I had to source photos that felt relevant to the locations, as well as to our audience. I chose a bright and bold color palette to complement the photography and help the copy stand out as an overlaid design feature.

In our final designs, I really wanted people to take away the line “a better future for India” or “a better future for China.” The goal I focused on was showing that LEED-certified buildings can help address some of the main issues both locations are facing daily.

Print ads for LEED in China

The final ads we have been running show off high-quality photography and bold typography and create a dynamic layout for viewers. If you want to read more about our efforts in both India and China, visit gbci.org.

View more recent design for international projects

Creating an infographic to tell the TRUE story


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Creating an infographic to tell the TRUE story

As USGBC and GBCI, we take pride in celebrating our program milestones. That’s why we created an engaging infographic to highlight the first 100 certified TRUE Zero Waste projects. Our target audience was current TRUE participants, program prospects, the media and the waste and sustainability communities.

TRUE infographic

The infographic visually represents data about TRUE.

The design highlights the following data points for the program:

  • Number of projects by certification level
  • U.S. states and other countries (Ireland and Canada) with TRUE-certified facilities
  • Types of facilities certified (manufacturing, retail, etc.)
  • Gross square feet of certified space
  • Tonnage of total waste diverted from landfill
  • Estimated annual cost savings/reduction

Designed for social media, presentations and media outreach, the infographic is a fun and creative way of pointing out what it means to be TRUE-certified.

TRUE infographic

How the infographic appears on a mobile device.

Read more about TRUE-certified facilities in the project directory.

See more about designing for TRUE

Design case study: The SITES AP ad campaign


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Design case study: The SITES AP ad campaign

This spring, our USGBC design and marketing team decided to switch gears with our current SITES advertising campaign. SITES is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, planners, ecologists, architects, developers, policymakers and others to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design.

Because SITES touches so many different people, we decided to focus on people themselves, to drive home the connection to the professional. Currently, the SITES team is highly focused on growing the credentialing program. They are interested in driving registration for the SITES AP exam, and the new print ad needed to support that goal.

The SITES AP establishes a common framework to define the profession of sustainable landscape design and development and provides landscape professionals with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise and commitment to the profession.

When designing, I always start by pulling as many photography options as I can before moving into layout. I pulled 16 different photos, and then started laying out the ad with the given copy. I went through three design rounds before landing on two final layouts that connect with the SITES audience.

Next, I decided the photos and typography could stand alone, without any additional design elements to tell the SITES AP story. The ads are simple and concise, and the message is clear. Check out the project over on our Work page!

See more design case studies at USGBC

Designing the Arc brochure


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Designing the Arc brochure

You might find it unusual that an organization so focused on the environment would design printed marketing collateral. In this “print to digital” day and age, why would you rely on paper to promote your message?

While curbing wasteful printing has always been a priority for our USGBC marketing and communications team, sometimes paper speaks louder than a screen. In fact, science shows that paper can be more effective and memorable than digital.

When we sat down to strategize our marketing for Arc, a digital platform designed to help building projects collect, manage and benchmark their performance data, we knew we needed to supplement our heavily digital-centric marketing with a standout print brochure.

Arc brochure design

The goal was to create an impactful leave-behind to complement the team’s sales efforts. The brochure would be used in meetings and presentations and distributed at various events. The team got started on the design, aiming to have the brochure ready for distribution at Greenbuild Europe, which took place in April in Berlin, Germany.

The trifold design brochure conveys Arc’s innovative and data-centric functionality, with simplicity and ease of use. Its compact size (5.66 by 16.98 inches) is portable, but large enough to accommodate the perfect amount of information, so it’s useful to our customers. The die cuts add dimension and make the brochure eye-catching and modern.

Arc brochure

Per our printing guidelines, the brochure was printed on Mohawk Options paper stock, using soy-based inks by a local FSC Certified printer.

See more of our recent design work

Links we love: What the social media team uses


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Links we love: What the social media team uses

As part of the USGBC marketing and communications team, two to three people handle our social media marketing for USGBC, LEED, our GBCI family of brands and associated accounts like the Center for Green Schools. Across our social media platforms, they balance the needs of creating fun social engagement opportunities with sharing important announcements and keeping a consistent tone.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the resources where they find inspiration:

Julia Pergolini, Social Media Manager

  • I use Hootsuite’s services from time to time, which is originally how I became familiar with their blog. It’s one of the very few that I subscribe to with my regular work email, because I appreciate the content and find it useful for digital content knowledge well beyond the realm of its core services. Also, they offer free webinars galore! They’ve been around for a long time, and I think that counts for something.
  • I’m a huge fan of the knowledge that TrackMaven features regularly on its blog. As a customer of TrackMaven’s analytic software, I trust them as a resource and value what they are about as a company. I subscribe to this blog in my email, but I also love visiting their website (something I can’t say about every company!).
  • I’m new to Sprout Social, but am digging it already! Their design style is great, and visually appealing content is always a plus. They have excellent, relevant resources with digestible and creative delivery. They also look at social in broad contexts and include a lot of information specific to community and project management. I look forward to using their tools more often.

Sarah Stanley, Media and Communications Manager

  • I like the Social Media Today blog—whether it’s an overview on a new feature released on Facebook or just a quick how-to guide on navigating a certain function, this website is a good down-and-dirty resource for getting a basic understanding of hot topics quickly. Another similar resource is Social Media Examiner.
  • As the line between marketing and PR continues to blur, it’s important to expand the industry or trade publications you’re referencing. Sources like PRWeek and AdWeek are not only good for staying on top of what’s happening in the industry, but they also provide in-depth looks at current and recent campaigns. Seeing what others are doing can help spark ideas for how you might leverage social media to support your own goals.
  • Follow the experts. Those who are leading social media efforts for brands should also be on your “must follow” radar on Twitter. Their insights, tips and work are powerful lessons. Try the aumcore list of thought leaders to get you started.

Learn more about creating social media content