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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Per our printing guidelines, the brochure was printed on Mohawk Options paper stock, using soy-based inks by a local FSC Certified printer.
Dynamic, inspirational and bringing together the green building community worldwide…these were some of the ideas that guided us through our international Greenbuild rebrand at USGBC earlier this year. As part of our event strategy, we aim to evolve the look of the show branding to touch on different topics and trends, while maintaining the core Greenbuild aesthetic as a thread. With one year of international shows under our belt, we were looking forward to the evolution of the visuals, based on our experiences.
After our inaugural year using the colorful city skylines with Greenbuild China, India, Europe and Mexico, we kept the existing logo lock-ups with the location, along with the bright color palette, and used that as a base to expand the look.
We continued the use of our bright color palette for international Greenbuild events.
We aimed to fuse those pieces together with elements that would adapt and flow from city to city, as well as tie in the overall “Human x Nature” Greenbuild theme in a way that was unique to the international market. Using the “x” from the theme on an expanded scale, we blended it with photography and gradients to create a colorful and engaging element for the look of show, as well as accenting designs as a smaller repeated detail for visual interest.
We used the “x” in subtler design elements as well.
We then incorporated more of the “human” part of the theme, with photography featuring people from past events playing a key role in the overall design. This manifested in a unique and fun way, where the “x” served as a holding shape for images, providing glimpses of attendees among the dynamic graphic elements.
We played with using images of people in the “Human x Nature” theme.
We are excited by how this rebrand is already appearing in printed pieces, advertising and websites, and are looking forward to seeing it in action at the show for the first time, this October at Greenbuild China.
We’re ready for Greenbuild China.
TRUE, formally ZeroWaste, is a whole-systems approach aimed at changing how materials flow through society, resulting in no waste. TRUE Zero Waste promotes processes that consider the entire life cycle of products used within a facility.
Because of the various trademark challenges, the ZeroWaste brand needed to be renamed and rebranded. Originally, the creative brief for this project toggled between two options for the new name: “Minuswaste,” which does not include the zero waste terminology and was difficult to trademark, and “TRUE,” which stands for Total Resource Use and Efficiency.
The goal of this rebranding project was to create a full identity package, including logo design, style and usage guidelines. One of the challenges with this identity was to create a logo that reflects a zero-waste life cycle in a minimalistic form. The client wanted to convey a future-focused and innovative brand and included these samples as inspiration:
I began my usual three-step process for developing this new identity: research, sketch, revise and finalize.
It’s important to see what’s already in the ether of logo design. What’s trendy right now? What’s classic? What styles really work for the industry? What is the client’s mission? Once I had a solid understanding of ZeroWaste’s mission, it was time to get the best possible understanding of what the client does to achieve this mission and who the target audience is.
I presented several initial ideas. Here are some of the initial designs:
I created new versions of the initial ideas, based on the feedback given by the client.
After submitting the final round of revisions, a design was chosen. At that point, all that was left was to put together the last few pieces of this identity puzzle:
- Logo details (logo color, spacing and sizes, etc.)
- Color palette
- Applications and examples of usage (web, print, etc.)
The final logo embodies a nontraditional, continuous cycle using bold, clean lines. Ultimately, the redesign achieved a clean, minimalist design while maintaining the integrity of TRUE’s mission. The new identity is flexible to adapt to all media and presents a modern, professional aesthetic for longevity.
Feature image: Photo by Amanda Gann, courtesy of AIGA DC.
I’m so excited to finally share the news! Our TRUE Zero Waste Certification System branding package, designed by USGBC’s senior graphic designer, Nia Lindsey, was recognized by AIGA DC as one of the 50 best created in Washington, D.C., over the past two years. AIGA 50 honors design that makes an impact, and over 400 entries were submitted for the 2018 competition.
Many from our team were able to accept the award in person at the 15th biennial AIGA 50 Gala, where we rubbed shoulders with some of the top creatives in the area. View all the winning work from 2018.
TRUE Zero Waste is a program for businesses to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, thereby reducing their impact on the natural environment and our collective health. With that in mind, the goal was to create a logo and brand that was innately simple and minimal, while at the same time flexible and adaptable. The final logo embodies a nontraditional, continuous cycle using bold, clean lines.