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Building a Green Campaign

(December 2010) posted on Tue Dec 07, 2010

Portland Color helps Bloomingdale's show off its sustainable side.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Jake Widman

"We must have printed several thousand pieces all told," says Graham. "It was a lot for us. Also we had never printed on kraft paper before. That was a challenge, because it's a material that's not intended for inkjet printers. It's not manufactured in a way that can guarantee no wrinkles in the roll. So we faced a little bit of a learning curve in getting the ink and the material right."

From Romanowski's viewpoint, on the other hand, the job didn't require much special effort: "We just gave them Adobe InDesign or Illustrator files, as we usually do," she says. "It’s true that we probably spent more time in the prototype phase than we would have normally, because printing on kraft paper and things like that was all very different for us than printing on a heavy board stock. Portland Color made several samples for us, and we spent a lot of time going back and forth about what the color looked like once you put it on kraft paper as opposed to white. When you put the green on top of the brown, some of it got a little muddy, so we did have to tweak the color a little bit."

Portland Color's early embrace of green printing helped during this process, too, says Graham. Because it had been an early adopter of latex printing, for example, “As part of our original learning process, we learned a lot about how to adjust temperature and roll tension, change dwell time, and so on. So we're used to pushing the envelope in terms of how to work with unusual materials.”
Also of note: This campaign was the first use of the SGP logo in the retail arena.

Building a relationship
Romanowski was pleased with the results of the campaign. "I think it was well received as an environmental push. It's not a sales event, so there's nothing very tangible about it –this is more about an awareness campaign. Portland Color was, and is, a great company to work with. It's a nice feeling to use them and to know you're using an environmental company. It makes me think twice about how much I'm ordering – puts my whole print life in perspective."
For his part, Kinney is happy with the outcome as well. "We've continued to have a relationship with them, including for projects not necessarily with a green theme. We've continued to do these campaigns for them successfully."

Portland Color