Cut out the waste

Promoting your sustainability credentials by producing large quantities of leaflets, posters and banners is a contradiction in its own right. You can’t cut out the waste by making more waste — can you?

Managing waste is an issue at the front of all our minds, and even more so for large institutions such as Falmouth University and the University of Exeter – whom have almost 4000 students spread across two campuses in Cornwall. With a desire to promote their sustainability policies and to encourage students to do their bit in helping limit the impact they have on the environment, FX Plus (the shared student services arm of the universities) sought support in the development of a marketing campaign that did just that. 

But here comes the problem – how do you promote a sustainable message without further adding to the waste issue by producing large quantities of leaflets, posters and banners – all of which have a limited life span, and that more importantly the effectiveness of is questionable? The solution to us was rather simple – with some ingenious thinking and a little help from a friend with a laser cutter we took stock piles of existing cardboard waste and repurposed it to become the marketing materials that would carry the message.
The stockpile – With containers full of waste, we were not short of available material to use.
Sorting it out – After a good old rummage in the containers, we pulled out the waste that was to be given a second life.
Graphics – Selecting waste with varied graphic details was going to become a key point of interest in the overall design.
Format – We weren't going to limit ourselves to using just flat card, boxes would also play a role in the campaign as display items.
Words – Generating varied and interesting messages would be crucial in helping to ensure that the campaign maintained interest.
Artwork – With the stock material filling the studio and armed with messages, we then worked through the process of setting files ready for cutting.
Trimmed and ready – After many hours of careful stock selection, trimming and batching we were ready for cutting.
Cutting – Jenny at 'Cut By Beam' said that the variety and inconsistency of materials made it one of the most challenging jobs she's had to do
Posters – Stencil cutting allowed us to set and display posters as single units.
Display items – Knowing that posters and coasters can be overlooked, display boxes to be placed upon tables would not be missed.
Micro messages – Smaller more descreet message cards were hidden throughout the canteen for people to stumble upon.
The complete set – Display boxes, bin sleeves, tent cards, coasters and stencil posters.
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