SINCE 2014, MELANIE STOVALL AND HER COMMITTEE for Sustainable Design of AIGA MN have been amazing to Bogobrush. They invited Heather to speak at a networking event called Green Drinks, hosted a Give Event for Bogobrush and Apple Tree Dental, (story below,) and never stopped believing in us and the little toothbrush that could. To honor them, we award them the first annual Bogobrusher Award. Read this post to learn about all their great work, and if you're a member of AIGA, check your member email for a thank you gift from us, available until Dec. 31. :)
Melanie is third from the right, in the picture above. Other folks are John, Heather, and the AIGA MN committee.
WHAT IS AIGA?
Melanie: AIGA is a 100% volunteer organization serving creative fields such as design, printing, prepress, photography, illustration, paper manufacturing/distribution, and writing. AIGA Minnesota is one of the largest chapters in the nation, serving nearly 1,300 members.
WHAT IS THE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN COMMITTEE?
Melanie: The Sustainable Design Committee uses visual communication to educate the community on environmental issues, whether that be teaching designers how to apply sustainable design to their work, talking through sustainable alternatives for process and materials in the industry, or in the instance of Bogobrush, partnering with organizations to promote their sustainability efforts. Our main goal is to look at an event holistically — not just bring in a sustainable speaker, but make sure everything down to the venue, food, drinks, and promotional materials is environmentally friendly. Every project presents a new challenge: We always find ourselves asking, "What about this isn't sustainable? What can we do instead?" We've printed invites on used beer boxes, created paperless posters by screenprinting the design onto windows, created reusable canvas bags and pint glasses as an alternative to brochures and most recently led a pledge against plastic straws.
Designer: Liping Vong
Paperless Poster Designer: Craig Johnson
Designers: Brittany Sweney, Amy Dritz, Austin Nash and Melanie Stovall
Designer: Calvin LaBrie
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR COMMITTEE AND WHAT ARE THEIR BACKGROUNDS?
Melanie: There are currently about eight volunteers on the Sustainable Design Committee. Most of us are senior to mid-level working professionals with the exception of a few students. We're an even mix of graphic designers, letterpress printers, and illustrators.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE GROUP?
Melanie: I've been volunteering for this group since 2011. I became the Associate Director in 2014 and was just re-elected for another two-year term.
WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE FOR THE BOGOBRUSH EVENT?
Melanie: The Give Tour had 3 events: Fargo, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Our role was to work with Bogobrush to determine the scope and theme of the Minneapolis event. We landed on hosting a fundraiser for Apple Tree Dental, a non-profit that provides oral care for people who would otherwise go without. Posters designed by local Minneapolis artists were available for sale in addition to the 1,200 Bogobrushes that were donated that evening. Our group worked on planning and promotion, found sponsors, and designed all needed materials for the party.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM THE GIVE EVENT?
Melanie: From the very first planning meeting, we knew we wanted to make a bathroom photobooth with a giant toothbrush so people could pretend to brush their teeth. My committee took the idea and ran with it, buying bubbles and shower cap props. The backdrop was a shower curtain and the foreground was set up as though the camera was shooting from a medicine cabinet. It was so awesome to see attendees enjoying themselves in the booth and the photos are amazing…definitely my highlight of the evening.
Designers: Leslie Olson, Marla Bonner and Elise Matheny
HOW DOES YOUR COMMITTEE CHOOSE WHAT EVENTS TO PLAN OR GROUPS TO COLLABORATE WITH?
Melanie: We partner with other organizations in town like MN Institute of Art (MIA), MN College of Arts and Design (MCAD), and Eureka Recycling who are leading the conversation in Sustainable Design and Zero Waste. Groups outside of AIGA Minnesota tend to bring in multiple disciplines within sustainability so it creates a space where designers can speak directly to other industries. We've worked with the MCAD Sustainable Design program to bring in professionals for design lectures, partnered with existing events to come up with sustainable alternatives for promotional materials, showed films on the Midtown Greenway bike path in South Minneapolis and are currently working on a high school membership program in North Minneapolis. It's all about looking around the city to find out who shares our passion for sustainability and trying to see if there's a way for us to work together.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SHOUT-OUTS YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE?
Melanie: We have a Sustainable Design retreat, "Earth Tones," coming up in April. We’re also putting on a Design Impact series in May 2017 to promote organizations that use design to make a positive impact in Minnesota.
If you’re interested in being involved in those events or just want more information on our committee, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out other upcoming AIGA Minnesota events at aigaminnesota.org and follow us at @aigamn.
AIGA, we thank you from our deep, toothbrush geek hearts:) - John and Heather
Photographers: Jay Larson and Emily Barrera