Client: Natural Resources Defense Council
Project: Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities
Description: 130-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
We recently completed our first project for the Natural Resources Defense Council. I’ve been a member of NRDC for quite some time and have long hoped to work with them. I met their publications director — virtually — when we were both copied on an email while I was producing a fact sheet for another client. As it turned out, the timing was perfect — they were looking to outsource a large report. I collaborated with one of the principal authors in California and the production manager in London. We started on the 72 figures and 22 tables in advance of receiving the body copy, then had a week to design a draft of the full report. Though we worked with a condensed schedule, the 130-page report was delivered on schedule for their press conference.
The report is an investigation into the impacts of climate change on 12 U.S.-specific cities, but the information therein applies to us all. From their executive summary:
“Communities across the United States — regardless of region — face significant water-related vulnerabilities because of climate change. Our report compiles findings from climate researchers about local, water-related climate changes and impacts to major cities across the United States. While there may be some uncertainty as to the rate of warming or sea level rise, there is no uncertainty that these changes are taking place, and that they are taking place in our backyards. Fortunately, many measures exist to help communities prepare, and this report documents efforts cities are taking to become more resilient. Indeed, many cities highlighted in this report are leading the way, although more can and should be done, particularly in places that have not yet begun the process of identifying their own water-related vulnerabilities. This report is intended to highlight the importance of understanding vulnerabilities facing cities as well as the importance of preparing for change.”
To view or download the report, visit the NRDC website.
Client: Cultural Survival
Project: Cultural Survival Quarterly
Description: 32-page quarterly, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
In my youth, I invested a lot of time volunteering for a nonprofit, traveling, progressive bookstore that I helped found in Amherst, Mass. Food for Thought Books was one of the first distributors of a new publication, Cambridge-based Cultural Survival Quarterly. Thirty-plus years later, I was honored with the task of its redesign. So much publishing has shifted to the Web that it’s now rare for organizations to make major investments in print periodicals. It’s refreshing to work with a group so committed to a print publication as a centerpiece of its work. Shown above is the first redesigned cover along with the cover for one of the magazine’s two inserts.
From the website of the publication’s nonprofit parent, Cultural Survival: “Under the guidance of our Indigenous-led Program Council, Cultural Survival partners with Indigenous communities to defend their rights and sustain their cultures. We help develop the knowledge, advocacy tools, and strategic partnerships they need to protect their rights. Every Cultural Survival program is designed to become self-sustaining and run entirely by the Indigenous community.”
For more information about Cultural Survival, visit their website at www.cs.org.
Client: Society for Organizational Learning
Project: Reflections: The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change
Description: 48– to 72-page quarterly, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
Reflections is the online journal of the Society for Organizational Learning. SoL's purpose is to "discover, integrate, and implement theories and practices of organizational learning for the interdependent development of people and their institutions and communities such that we continue to increase our capacity to collectively realize our highest aspirations and productively resolve our differences."
We’ve been producing Reflections since 2003, originally as a bi-monthly, black-and-white print journal that was mailed all over the globe, and now as a four-color, online quarterly. Under the guidance of Sherry Immediato, it continues to offer alternative approaches to “business-as-usual.” Its authors provide example after example of successful business development models that create cultures of change and inclusion.
To learn more about the Society for Organizational Learning, visit their website at www.solonline.org.
Client: Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, UMass Lowell
Project: Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health
Description: 132-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
I’ve collaborated on a lot of projects with the Lowell Center. Rarely have I had the opportunity to help produce such a thorough and compelling report for them. In part, what made Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health so unique was the abundance of high-quality photography provided by Earl Dotter. Earl “seeks out those who are taking steps to improve their lives at work, and uses the camera to engage them — giving visual testimony to their achievements.”
From the back cover of this 130-page report: “Going to work should not be a choice between feeding your family and protecting your health. Every day, 14 workers die on the job, and each year more than 4 million are seriously injured or sickened by exposures to toxic agents. Real change to the nation’s approach to workplace safety and health is desperately needed. This report includes six case studies of systemic failures in protecting workers from injury and illness. Each case documents the history of selected workplace health and safety policies and practices and reveals lessons learned to inform more effective prevention-focused worker health and safety protections. The Synthesis and Recommendations section of the report uses these lessons learned to outline a series of strategies for real change — approaches that can protect workers while stimulating innovation in safer forms of production that can also protect the communities in which we all live.”
To download a PDF of the full report, click here. To download PDFs of the executive summary or any of the six case studies individually, go to http://sustainableproduction.org/lessons.php.
Client: The Midas Collaborative
Project: Staying Afloat
Description: 12-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
Midas is a statewide collaborative of community-based, nonprofit organizations that help working, low-income residents in Massachusetts build assets and achieve greater economic stability. Midas members believe that increased financial management skills, community support, and access to wealth-building vehicles such as homes, businesses, and education foster the long-term economic stability of individuals and communities. In early October, I produced their how-to booklet, Staying Afloat: Managing Your Finances in a Changing Economy — Nine ways to save your money, reduce your expenses, and protect your future. It is designed to offer simple explanations about how money works to those folks who have had little access to financial education of any kind. This user-friendly, 12-page booklet provides information on a variety of basic financial concepts — budgeting, banking habits, taxes, overpaying for financial services, saving on energy and phone bills, managing credit, identity theft, and more.
We produced two additional versions of the booklet — one in Spanish, the other in Portuguese. Iterations of two or three other languages may be added later.
To download a PDF copy of the booklet (in English), click here.
Client: National Workgroup for Safe Markets
Project: No Silver Lining: An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods
Description: 24-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
For several years now, we have been working with a growing number of organizations focusing on toxics reduction. Recently, the National Workgroup for Safe Markets, a coalition of U.S. public health- and environmental health-focused NGOs, engaged us to produce a report on unsafe amounts of bisphenol A found in common brands of canned foods. The following is from the report’s executive summary:
“A public health debate is raging around the world about the danger of bisphenol A (BPA). Scientists, health professionals, and children’s and environmental health advocates are concerned by the hundreds of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies that have found negative health outcomes in laboratory animals resulting from low doses of BPA. No Silver Lining provides new data about the amount of BPA that could be consumed from eating canned food and drinks available in the U.S. and Canada.”
They discovered that: “92% of the 50 cans tested had detectable levels of BPA; one can of green beans had 1,140 parts per billion of BPA — the highest amount of any published study; and a daily diet that included canned foods tested for this report could cause a pregnant 20-something woman to ingest levels of BPA shown to cause harm to fetal development in animal studies.”
To view a copy of the report , download a PDF by clicking here.
Client: Union of Concerned Scientists
Project: Burning Coal, Burning Cash: Ranking The States that Import the Most Coal
Description: 68-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
Each year for the past decade or so, I have produced a number of reports for The Union of Concerned Scientists. In fact, Burning Coal, Burning Cash is the second in-depth report on the hazards and costs of mining and burning coal that I’ve produced in the past two years for UCS. In this report, UCS argues that the cost of importing coal is a major drain on the economies of many states that rely heavily on coal-fired power. Thirty-eight states were net importers of coal in 2008 — from other states and, increasingly, other nations. Eleven of those states spent more than $1 billion on net coal imports (spending on coal brought into the state minus revenues from the coal that in-state mines exported). Burning Coal, Burning Cash shows the scale of this annual drain on state economies, and suggests how they can keep more of those funds in-state through investments in energy efficiency and homegrown renewable energy. To view this report, download a copy by clicking here.
Client: Farm Aid
Project: Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems
Description: 20-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
I’ve done a lot of work for Farm Aid over the years. In fact, they may be my oldest client. The first project I took on for them was their first annual report more than 20 years ago. Since then, I've produced program booklets, newsletters, direct mail packages, postcards, banners, table tents . . . and considerably more. It was great once again to be working on a report for them. Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems, inspired by Willie Nelson, is an attempt to get Washington to recognize the potential of family farmers to revive the collapsing U.S. economy. Seems like a no-brainer to me but, obviously, some people need convincing. To view this report, download a copy by clicking here.
Client: Union of Concerned Scientists
Project: Catalyst (Magazine, Spring 2011)
Description: 16-page, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
My first job for the Union of Concerned Scientists back in the ’90s was the redesign of Nucleus, UCS's quarterly member magazine. We did a minor redesign when Nucleus was renamed Catalyst several years ago. Then, last year, we provided a complete redesign for the publication. I began my design career working on magazines and periodicals continue to be among my favorite projects.
Other projects we have worked on for UCS include: a dozen or more reports, annual reports, calendars, postcards, a multitude of fact sheets, flyers, posters, and more. Mostly, we work with the publications staff, but we work directly with various departments headquartered in each of their three offices nationwide.
To view UCS’ publications, go to www.ucsusa.org/publications.
Client: Physicians for Social Responsibility
Project: Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses
Description: 40-page, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet
This report showcases the first biomonitoring investigation of health care professionals. Though I have been a fan of PSR for many years, this was our first collaboration. From their report summary:
“Toxic chemicals are all around us. Everyday products in our homes, workplaces, schools, stores or places of worship are made from chemicals. What is the evidence that chemicals are polluting people? Through the method of biomonitoring, a technique in which blood, urine, hair, semen, breast milk, or other biologic specimens are analyzed for the presence of chemicals, scientists are able to track how much and what kinds of chemicals are in people. Physicians for Social Responsibility conducted the first biomonitoring investigation of health care professionals. Chemicals selected for participant biomonitoring specifically identified because they are emerging or known chemicals of concern, are known to be used in the health care setting, and have been associated with certain diseases whose incidences are on the rise.
“All of the 20 participating health care professionals had at least 24 individual chemicals in their body, and two participants had a high of 39 chemicals detected. Eighteen chemicals were detected in every single participant. There are several measures each of us can take to reduce our exposure, but it is important to note that we cannot shop, eat, or exercise our way out of this problem. Beyond individual or professional actions to avoid exposure, the most important thing every physician, nurse or public health professional must do is advocate for change in how chemicals
are managed in the U.S.”
To learn more about PSR and this groundbreaking work, visit www.psr.org.