Since 2007 I have been wheeling away in the sustainability and marketing space, navigating the twists and turns of this crazy business. Now, looking back through over a thousand dockets, I find there are some stories worth a second look.

Project #1 – Return on Responsibility Video

“Seeing the Earth from space changes the way you view our planet.”

What a way to kick off a sustainability branding company. My first job was to to script, edit and produce a DVD (remember those?) on sustainable investing, before that was even a thing. Astronaut Dr. Mark Garneau was one of our special guest stars and it was an honour to meet him and film at the Vancouver planetarium. The most fun… adding full scale shuttle launch SFX to our NASA footage at GGRP Sound!

Project #24 – CBR Products

Sell what you believe in.

As I was getting Unicycle Creative off the ground, I was also in the market for refinishing a rustic log cabin my wife and I had purchased north of Whistler, BC. Through that search, I discovered CBR Products and their amazing BRODA® wood stain. This product has it all – low-odor, non-toxic, and water-based, it is also, surprisingly, a durable OIL stain. What began as a few creative projects turned into a decade-long creative partnership that saw us producing a new logo and brand positioning, package design, videos, website and so much more. And the cabin still stands as a gleaming example of a product that truly fulfills it’s promise – to Protect it all.™

Project #186 – The Hemlock h-Pad

Inventing a tablet that never needs charging, WiFi or updates.

In 2010, the first generation Apple iPad was launching to the world. Hemlock, one of North America’s premier printers, was planning a launch party of their own and wanted something special for the event. We came up with the h-pad – a deliberately analog take on the hottest new digital device. This was a branded notebook, delivered in a soft-touch black folding case, complete with special ‘app’ pages interleaved with the note paper. We created a launch video, and handed out the iPads after a classic Steve Jobs style launch. Complete with jeans and black turtlenecks. Given the digital addiction issues of today, maybe it’s a product worth re-launching.

Project #220 – The London Drugs Styrocycle

How to cure Styrofoam Squeakaphobia.

For me, the sound of rubbing Styrofoam together is the squeaky equivalent of running fingernails down a blackboard. But I had to get past that phobia in order to construct one of the strangest vehicles ever to hit the streets.

In 2011, London Drugs wanted to raise awareness of their Styrofoam recycling with a pilot program in Victoria. Our idea was to take a pedicab and dress it up like it was hauling a huge stack of Styrofoam – while leaving space inside for passengers. Of course, I decided to build it myself. Which meant cutting, shaping and gluing huge blocks of foam from London Drugs’ warehouse, designing a shell, affixing the pieces to it and engineering it all to bolt on to a pedicab.

OK, how the HELL am I actually going to build this??

The result was a hilarious, yet functional vehicle that got national and local press, even getting the attention of (then) Environment Minister Terry Lake. The next year, we designed the Styrocycle II for a new LD store launch in Vancouver. I wisely had someone else construct that one.

Project #423 – The Silent Gardener

A somewhat quieter pitch.

Few things are more irritating than the belching roar of a gas-powered leaf blower on a peaceful spring morning. So I was more than happy to take on the task of promoting a quieter, cleaner alternative. The Silent Gardener has been leading the way in electric landscaping services for over 20 years. Owner Sheldon Ridout is always fun to work with and never shies away from a bold idea. This logo has to be one of my favourites – it’s a visual you can almost hear. This new brand design turned into ongoing marketing projects, including vehicle graphics, trade show materials, website redesign, animated video and even packaging for hand-harvested honey. He is now expanding to offer consulting services for municipalities who want to electrify their landscaping fleets. Rock on.

Silent Gardener rebranding promo earplugs design
Silent Gardener Honey

Project #701 – One Tree Planted 360 VRToon

Like a petulant deity… I create a 360VR world!

One Tree Planted is a very forward-thinking organization. They coordinate the planting of trees around the world, with donations sourced online and through numerous partners. So when I suggested creating a virtual cartoon ‘forest’ with animals, humans and trees in 360VR, to promote their Million Tree goal, they were all in. I drew the illustration flat, using a template I sourced online, then converted to 360˝ and uploaded it to Kuula – a hosting platform for 360VR content. So, having created a 360 cartoon world, the question remains: would you want to live in it?

Project #373 – Print & a Pint

You can’t go wrong with free beer.

When Hemlock Printers was looking to re-imagine their regular series of print industry events, it didn’t take long to hit on a strategy that would appeal to a broad cross-section of the design community. Free Beer. Thus, Print & a Pint was born, launching a series of fun events that would bring people together from Seattle to Vancouver. Our inaugural invitation even featured a create-your-own-beer-label contest, with a coaster you could punch right out of the invitation card. Design community: You’re welcome.

Project #1000 – Sustainability Cartoons

What’s so funny about sustainability?

One of the great perks of being in this business is all the great people I meet. Scot Case is a retail sustainability expert from Pennsylvania whom I met at Sustainable Brands way back in 2008. Since then we have collaborated on projects and just generally kept each other laughing no matter how badly the world seems to be screwing things up. Now we are combining our talents to get retailers to think of sustainability in a whole new way, using creativity, workshops and cartoons. I can’t think of a more appropriate fit for docket #1000 than illustrating the elephant in the room. Thanks Scot, you make a thousand projects seem like a fresh start.

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