Portland Color helps Bloomingdale's show off its sustainable side.
By Jake Widman
"In a subsequent meeting," recalls Kinney, "we presented them with materials that were from manufacturers who have developed recycled materials geared for our machines. But while I was presenting those materials, we realized that the actual packaging I had used for the materials – brown paper and cardboard boxes – had a more literally green character. In that same meeting, we decided that if we really wanted to do this in a way that didn't fool the consumer, why don't we just use cardboard and kraft paper?"
The art and the ‘kraft’ of sustainability
"Our campaigns don't always tie into a charity," says Romanowski, "but when they do, we always put what we call our 'good-deeds' wall in the boutiques. The walls let the customers know what they're doing to help the charity. In the case of our green campaign, the good-deed wall was based on a deck of cards from the NRDC promoting 'Simple Steps' to being green. I think we chose 16 or 18 of the steps that would make sense in a department store. We have nearly 40 locations and Portland Color did two large-scale walls for us in each store."
One of the two walls (70 x 96 inches) featured the Simple Steps to Being Green printed in the shape of hang tags – one tag for each step. The other wall (also 70 x 96 inches) presented information about the NRDC and how the items for sale in the boutique – which ranged from exclusive merchandise such as a green water bottle and a reusable tote bag to sustainable umbrellas – would benefit that organization. Both wall graphics (as well as box graphics) were printed with Portland’s HP Designjet L65500 Latex-based printer onto 80-pound kraft paper.
In addition to the two walls, Portland Color also printed a vast array of smaller graphic components that appeared in other parts of the stores. "For our visual moments--the platforms throughout the store where the mannequins are – we had a sign with a visual tie-in to the campaign, with the green-on-cardboard look," Romanowski explains. "There were probably 10 or 12 of those throughout each store." Other components included small hang tags for each item (printed on Earthboard with its HP FB6100 UV printer), mission statements, and much more.