National

Case Study: Cutting Carbon with Design for Micro Concerts

Seven25. Design & Typography promoted Beat Global Heat’s backyard carbon-cutting concerts through a share-able framework of printed and online media for local organizers.

 

Design Challenge 

Beat Global Heat brought in Seven25 to promote a unique event; ‘the Backyard Festival’ to a cross-section of music lovers and activists across Canada. 

The Backyard Festival was an opportunity to host summer concerts in residential backyards. The event drew family, neighbours and friends to enjoy music and socialize while encouraging participants to contact their political representative to implement a Federal carbon tax policy. 

Before the 2008 federal election, then Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion proposed a revenue-neutral federal carbon tax policy, known as the Green Shift. It became a central issue of the election but was never realised as a result of the Liberal Party defeat to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. 

Strategy 

All of the Beat Global Heat concerts were held on the same day, uniting participants spread across the nation. Swiderski said, “The premise of the project—having a concert in your backyard—was very exciting to us. The notion that you could invite strangers and friends to this private space for an event that is usually held in larger, or at least public, venues seemed to present interesting conceptual opportunities.” 

They targeted Canadian urban dwellers in their mid 20s to mid 40s who relished the opportunity to gather friends for a concert and have an impact on a political issue that mattered to them. This group was chosen as web savvy and motivated to make a political change. To promote the appeal of the project they focused on the uniqueness of that experience and tried to infuse playfulness in the visual language developed. 

Solutions 

Seven25 created a package for home-based concert organizers. Printed postcards and promotional posters were produced and mailed to concert organisers. They offered a letter-sized PDF of the small posters for organisers to print out as needed in their location. A ‘how-to’ guide was also available online as a downloadable PDF. 

The Beat Global Heat website became a hub to connect organisers, attendees, musicians and volunteers in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary. 

The large poster print run was limited and printed on 100% post-consumer fibre paper. The materials were sponsored and printed by Hemlock—a zero emission printer named Most Environmentally Progressive Printer 6 years running. 

Result 

The concerts took place across the country and yielded some memorable events. After the Liberals crushing defeat, the carbon tax proposal—clearly unpopular with voters—was unfortunately abandoned. However, carbon tax policies have been successful on the provincial level. At the time of publishing (May 2012) British Columbia has had a carbon tax policy in place for several years which you can read about here: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/ climate/carbon_tax.htm 

Credits: Seven25. Design & Typography 

Strategy, Art direction: Isabelle Swiderski CGD
Design: Jaime Barrett, Isabelle Swiderski CGD, Joel Shane
Production: Steve Pinter
Programming: Ryan Ilg
Photography: Wendy D
Printing: Hemlock Printers 

Download PDF Case Study: Seven25


WANT TO SHARE YOUR SUSTAINABILITY STORY WITH THE GDC DESIGN COMMUNITY?

Email the National Sustainability Committee! sustainability.nsc@gdc.net 

Find out more about sustainable design practices and more case studies at: http://www.gdc.net/hub/sustainability