Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Outstanding Design in Support Of A Social Impact Campaign Finalists

Here are the finalists for the Sprudge Design Awards Outstanding Design in Support of a Social Impact Campaign category. This award honors outstanding original design in support of social impact. This includes design, social media campaigning, digital production, and any other facet of design that supports a charitable cause, fundraising initiative, crowdfunding campaign or awareness effort. Entry fees are waived for this category, and for our pilot year at the Sprudge Design Awards, all eligible submissions have advanced to finals.

decent packaging

A bitter irony: 17% of New Zealanders don’t finish restaurant meals. Even though most of us want to take leftover food home, we don’t, for fear of judgment. As a result, tonnes of good food needlessly goes to landfill every year – a daily frustration of chefs nationwide. All the while, 1/5 New Zealanders today live in food poverty.

This is how the ‘Goodie Box’ was established. Collaborating with DDB and Everybody Eats, we created a doggy bag that lets you help those with nothing – so you can feel good taking leftovers home. It was about creating value from what was destined for landfill – talking to diners, and in their moment of too much food, get them to think about those with too little. All customers have to do is simply scan the QR-code on the Goodie Box to give $5 (or more), and that gives a hungry Kiwi a fresh meal at Everybody Eats (a charity restaurant chain).

The packaging design needed to be able to hold food (for obvious reasons); use colours that conveyed the earthy and natural vibe but with enough pops of colour to catch the eye and create an “Ooo, what’s that?” moment in a restaurant. It also needed to be classy – since the Goodie Box was going into nice restaurants all over NZ, we needed these sophisticated spots to proudly hand their customers, our Goodie Boxes. Finally, but most importantly, it needed to be hardworking. We needed the copy and call to action to be brutally short, simple but crystal clear to what the concept was and what we needed the diners to do. We needed to make things easy for them, especially after they’ve had a few drinks!

The packaging box itself is made from plants, with a recycled-card outer, a PLA inner and dressed up in non-toxic inks and dyes, making the Goodie Box 100% compostable. A decent packaging product through and through.

Inspiration behind the artwork? The food shapes were hand-cut from paper, scanned and refined digitally, creating a pattern related to food but wasn’t food – and didn’t compete with restaurant menus or branding. They were overlaid on brown paper, sympathetic to the wider recycling story and crafted to ensure the colours stand-out in busy, dimly lit spaces. Finished off with hand-crafted, hand-painted poster typography that is simple to read, understand and action.

The Goodie Box has had 54 of NZ’s top, high value, restaurants on board since April 19 – all buying the boxes, buying meals, and promoting Everybody Eats at the table. Saving tonnes of landfill every year, all while helping feed hundreds of Kiwis every day.

Thanks to the success of the Goodie Box, the initiative is looking to be rolled out in the UK in 2024.

Note: Innocent Packaging rebranded to decent packaging in 2022 and new Goodie Boxes in production.

Decent Packaging website.

partners coffee block party sda social impact

In recognition of Pride Month, we donated $1 from each bag of Block Party sold in June to The Center—an organization located in the heart of the West Village, less than half a mile from our Charles Street café. Founded in 1983, they offer a wide spectrum of programs for the LGBTQ+ community across New York City and beyond and we’re honored to partner with them year over year during Pride Month.

We designed our wrap specifically with this giveback in mind. Block Party launched in June, a month of celebration and remembrance for the LGBTQ+ community. We wanted the scenery to embody this spirit of joy, fun and partnership. You’ll find characters walking hand in hand, on coffee dates, and celebrating in the forefront and background of the design. Our friends and staff were a big inspiration to us in giving each character its personality. Our packaging was designed to be an ode to New York summers, and we feel that the energy of Pride is a huge part of that experience.

Block Party Instant Coffee

andy yellow 2

Since our first artist series in 2020, notNeutral has collaborated with multitalented artists from ceramicists to streetwear designers to create limited-edition Lino mugs. Each of our collaborators is given complete creative control to apply their signature style to our most iconic shape.

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For our 2023 artist collection, we partnered with Interact Center for Visual & Performing Arts, a progressive visual arts studio and theater company dedicated to artistic excellence, radical inclusion, and challenging perceptions of disability. At Interact, artists with and without disabilities collaborate as equals, inspiring audiences to explore the full spectrum of human potential.

notNeutral worked closely with Interact’s gallery team to select works by three artists: Michael Engebretson, Andrew Seymour, and David Wright, adapting their original illustrations and paintings to design three limited-edition Lino mugs slated for release in November 2023. A portion of sales will be paid as royalties to the artists and to Interact to advance their mission to support the creative growth of artists with disabilities.

More on Interact here: https://gallery.interactcenterarts.org/

notNeutral x Michael Engebretson Lino Mug
notNeutral x David Wright Lino Mug
notNeutral x Andrew Seymour Lino Mug

The entire Lino line.

cane dog blend jute bag

Cane Dog is a coffee blend named after the iconic and loveable stray dogs of Barbados. No pedigree, no snobbery just friendly and approachable. The packaging and logo was designed to be as clean and simple while creating an iconic look that stands out. 10% of all sales of Cane Dog go to a Barbadian animal charity to help Cane Dogs (and cats) find forever homes. The range has since grown to featuring a single origin where our partners Urbania have committed to donating to animal welfare projects in Medellin, Colombia.



branded impact

Cotton, the most common clothing material, demands up to 2700L of water to produce enough for one shirt, contributing to the textile industry’s annual use of over 1.5 trillion liters of water. The industry also uses nearly 1 trillion gallons of water yearly for dyeing, and produces 1 lb of cotton at the cost of 2500 gallons of water. It is responsible for 20% of global water pollution, with 90% of its wastewater untreated, affecting 800 million people lacking access to clean water.

Textile fabric constitutes over 5% of landfill material, with the average garment lifespan at 3 years. The industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, a figure set to rise with the ongoing trend of cheap, mass-produced clothing. The wastewater from textile production contains harmful elements like lead, mercury, and arsenic.

Populace Coffee, committed to positive community, employee, and environmental impact, addresses these issues with its Branded New program. This initiative sources second-hand clothing, revamping them with “Drink Coffee Live Forever” embroidery, thus saving each item from early disposal and conserving the typical 2700L water needed for a new t-shirt. Despite only a small portion of global textile production, every 100 Branded New shirts save 270,000 gallons of water, sufficient for nearly 400 people annually.

Populace Coffee’s mission with Branded New is to raise awareness about clothing production’s environmental and societal impact, promoting a shift towards more sustainable choices. Branded New stands for giving previously loved clothing a new lease on life, aligning with the mission to make a significant difference in the world.

Drop 002 is happening in November 2023 – https://populace.coffee/blogs/community-leaders/branded-new-previously-loved-given-new-life

Visit the official Populace Coffee website here.


Our coffee bags include a QR code on the bag where customers can tip farmers. Also, our bag design are inspired by the landscape of the African Safari to celebrate the origins of coffee in Africa and Kahawa 1893 as the first African/Black and woman-owned brand to be nationally distributed in the USA.

Visit the Kahawa 1893 official website here.

equator coffees superbloom

Equator Coffees’ 2023 Super Bloom Collection was a captivating testament to the power of design in supporting a social impact campaign. Available from April 3 to July 2, 2023, this collection utilized every visual touchpoint to bring our values to life and showcased our commitment to sustainability, diversity, and social responsibility.

At the heart of this limited-edition collection was a custom 12oz. coffee bag designed for our spring seasonal coffee, Super Bloom Blend. We partnered with Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Sacaclí in Nicaragua to introduce the first-ever harvest of Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) coffee, which formed the core of this year’s Super Bloom Blend. To create a unique and diverse profile, we complemented this with sustainable coffees from Thailand and Java, resulting in a celebratory blend with delightful flavors of Confetti Cake, Cherry Blossom, and Starfruit.

To give life to the concept of the Super Bloom, we collaborated with queer illustrator and muralist Rymie (Lauren Rymer, she/her, @rymie). The design and campaign concept was inspired by the blend’s namesake—Super Bloom—a rare botanical phenomenon that occurs when dormant wildflower seeds germinate in unison, bringing the desert landscape to life in a riot of vibrant color. Rymie’s illustrations beautifully celebrated the origin of our hero coffee from Nicaragua, paid homage to our home state, California, and championed our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Through Rymie’s artistry, we conveyed the message that when we bloom together, we can transform entire landscapes.

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The front of the coffee bag featured a tiger peering over a steaming pour over cone. The tiger is our brand logomark; a symbol of grace, strength, and rarity. She’s surrounded by a mix of flora native to California and Nicaragua, as an homage to the coffee origin and where the coffee was roasted, at our roastery in Marin County, CA. On one side, a queer interracial couple toasts their steaming tumblers of coffee, and on the other a chemex with flowers stands tall under the sun, with the phrasing Proud Since 1995—a play on our typical Roasting Since 1995 to celebrate our commitment to LGBTQ+ representation. On the back of the bag, a woman hikes in hills surrounded by Pride Poppies—another nod to LGBTQ+ pride inspired by our founders—while a parrot flies overhead as a nod to Nicaragua. All of these elements together amount to a visually stunning design that celebrated the seasonal blend.

Beyond aesthetics, our collection carried a significant social impact. 5% of sales from the Super Bloom Blend and merchandise went towards supporting our producer partner, Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Sacaclí, in Nicaragua. This contribution was directed to purchase equipment for their newly-built coffee quality control lab, a need identified by members of the cooperative. The collection also included a custom 16oz. Fellow Carter Tumbler and an enamel pin that were part of our 5% giveback program, increasing our opportunity to raise a larger donation amount. Together with our Cup For A Cause program, which involved donating $1 for every pour over sold in our cafes during the campaign’s launch month in April, we raised a total of $4,291.98 for the cooperative. This collective effort underscored our commitment to supporting our partners and making a tangible difference in their sustainability and social equity initiatives.

As a female, LGBTQ+ founded business and the first certified B Corp coffee roaster in California, sustainability, diversity, and long-term relationships are at the heart of everything that we do. We know that consumers are reaching for products that tell a compelling story, from brands that they can believe in. From our artist collaboration, to the components of the blend, to the 5% giveback, our Super Bloom coffee is an example of what can happen when a brand makes good on the promise to do better for our stakeholders from seed to sip.

Visit the Super Bloom announcement post here.

three tree coffee

We use specialty coffee to empower farmers, end human trafficking and engage our community. It is estimated that there are 20-40 million people trafficked every year. In light of this problem, we have launched a new podcast called ‘Coffee &.’ Through this podcast, we educate the community on specialty coffee while also mobilizing them towards anti-trafficking initiatives. In one type of episode, we interview champions of the anti-slavery cause. In tandem with this podcast, we are also launching a coffee subscription called the ‘Coffee & Club’ where customers get monthly coffee and $1 per bag is donated to safe houses helping victims of human trafficking. The designs for these are all made in-house by Kimberly Daly. They both feature a cliff-hanging ampersand creates suspense and conveys that this is about more than coffee. The ‘&’ is set over a mic for the podcast and over a chemex for the club. The coffee plants coming out from the marks convey growth and more fruit in this cause. We have donated over $25,000 over the past 8 years towards this cause and we are committed to furthering our impact!

Visit the Three Tree Coffee podcast website here.

An interview Julie Wade about starting a safe house.


Launching our Women in Coffee Program, Guatemala El Vergel is an enjoyably complex coffee that we first discovered on an origin trip. Brought to us in association with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and certified as “Women Farmers Coffee” it brings visibility to the hard work of women farmers and offer notoriety to the premium coffees they grow. We wanted to create packaging that would reflect the story and bring attention to their work. We outsourced the design to a female Guatemalan-born artist names Sheyda Sebetian who draws inspiration from feminism and the relationship between humans and nature. The packaging pops off the shelf with its beautifully bold colors and delicate illustrations featuring two generations of Guatemalan women surrounded by gerberas, a typical flower from the region.

Read more about the program here.

Product Page: https://ferriscoffee.com/products/guatemala-el-vergel

Social: https://www.instagram.com/p/CukQLajpGgD/

mutts coffee

With coffee, all things are possible and there is no exception to the power of the coffee bag- a conduit for so much more than the contents within- the coffee beans themselves. In 2020, Mutts Coffee Roasters launched a unique and somewhat brazen concept- featuring different rescue dogs and adoptable dogs on our coffee bags with a unique graphic design of the dog on the front of the coffee bag and the story of the dog on the back. From a packaging perspective- it was a logistical nightmare but with a little trial and error and the help of a loyal office laser printer, we somehow managed to pull it off.

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With stories and coffee labels rotating out on a frequent basis, it would be important for customers and followers to have a place where they could access the stories at any time and at any point in which they discovered Mutts Coffee, regardless of whichever dog was currently being featured. The “Meet the Mutts” portion of the website was created as a safekeeping for all of the stories, past and present, and continues to be an expanding library of stories about rescue dogs from all around the United States, that at one time or another, have graced our coffee bags.

So far, Mutts Coffee has featured 16 rescue dogs, 10 adoptable dogs, 2 therapy dogs, and 4 social causes, important to the rescue community, totalling 32 unique coffee labels. Our website attracts visitors from all around the world and we also receive messages asking us if we can feature particular dogs or suggest organizations to volunteer for or donate to. Our Coffeebags have become a recruitment tool for community involvement, centered around the animal welfare and rescuing community; conversations that start out centered around roast profiles and origins often escalate to conversations about how to volunteer or what organizations to donate money to.

“The Puppies of Winston County” remains to be among the top causes we advocate for and our hope is that one day, with enough awareness and support, thanks to our growing platform and nationwide audience, we will have enough public energy and force to successfully petition the city officials of Winston County, Alabama to finally build and operate a government funded animal shelter so the responsibilities of saving the local strays is not put on the private citizens who donate their time, money, and personal resources to saving the hundreds and thousands of dogs who roam the streets of Winston County.

In addition to using coffee bags to promote rescue dog stories, adoptable dogs, and animal welfare causes, we also donate 25% of profits to a list of our partnered dog rescues. Our motto is simple but effective: Drink Coffee. Help Dogs and our hope is that we can continue to be a powerful ally in helping homeless pets in our community find homes and for our rescue partners to find the support they need to continue their life saving work.

Additional notes: Meet the Mutts


“The Puppies of Winston County”

Visit the official Mutts Coffee web site here.

The Chain Collaborative (TCC) is a non-profit that facilitates development projects in coffee growing communities around the world, along with other sustainability initiatives for the coffee industry. Their Community-Led Development Incubator program began with a cohort of community organizations in Latin America, and now the African cohort has started their work. In this campaign, TCC offers training and help with strategic planning for the groups to implement a project, then provides funding and support as groups bring the project to life. Finally, each group is guided through a monitoring and evaluation process. TCC’s Instagram account is beautiful and eye-catching, with both photographs of these inspiring projects as well as colorful graphic design elements. The account welcomes a diverse audience to TCC’s work – balancing both English and Spanish program updates and course announcements with calls to action.

This collaboration coffee released in collaboration with CxffeeBlack proudly supports the Barista Exchange program by sharing the proceeds from the sales of this Anaerobic Natural Rwanda from the Akagera Station. The exchange program is a multi-phase initiative including an educational expedition to Africa, along with four African baristas visiting the Anti-Gentrification Cxffee Club in Memphis, ending in Color of Coffee Symposium taking place in 2024 in Houston, Texas.

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