Northeastern “On-Demand”

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We partnered with Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies to design their Fall Capabilities package for graduate, undergraduate and fast-tack programs.

When a prospective student requests information from Northeastern, they will receive a personalized package containing an overview brochure with inserts that pertain to their study of interest. The process is efficiently managed as an “on-demand” print solution – packages are produced as needed, allowing for customization and updated content.

Ready for Winter? Brrrrr…

Now that we are seeing frost on the ground and newscasters are trying to scare us by mentioning snow, I guess Winter is just around the corner. Winter brings us hot apple cider and a big bowl of clam chowder; but most of us dread the thought of turning on the heat because of costly oil prices.

An alternative to traditional heating is the use of Geothermal systems. This is an economical way to heat and cool any kind of building, heat water and provide refrigeration. Here is how it works:geothermal

The Earth absorbs and stores much of the energy it receives from the sun. This causes underground temperatures to remain constant at a point between 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending where you are in the world. By installing an underground exchange system, this energy can be used to provide heat or air conditioning. According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it can lower energy bills 30 percent to 40 percent.

Hart-Boillot recently partnered with ECS to provide a visual identity and brand roll-out for Terraclime Geothermal. Terraclime provides geothermal heating and cooling systems, maintenance and tracking systems for proper operation.

After a design process of brainstorming, concepting, tweaking, and exploring color, here is the Terraclime Geothermal logo:

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To learn more, visit www.ecsconsult.com.

The Green Bean

greenbeanI like to spend my summers traveling to as many places as I can. This summer, my travels took me to Montreal, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.

I love the different energies cities exude – the way the sun bounces off tall buildings, people busily cross streets, couples stroll through green parks filled with modern sculptures, and smells of hot dogs and roasting nuts make their way across town (or cheese curds if you’re in the Midwest).

As I traveled, I noted the different changes in architecture helping to make buildings and structures more sustainable, creating a greener, cleaner life for its residents.

It was in Chicago where building design has changed the most. On the architecture foundation river tour, I learned that The Willis Tower (Sears Tower) may actually change the well-known structure from black to grey in an effort to reduce the amount of heat radiating from the building. Elsewhere, McDonald’s opened its first targeted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) restaurant featuring solar tube skylights, heat from the condensing units, lighting controls that sense and adjust energy use, and low environmental impact paint. Also, the City of Chicago is sponsoring one of the largest sustainable neighborhood revitalization developments in the country. It includes buildings with green roofs, transplanted soil that will help rid waterways of silt build-up, easy access to transit, and close proximity to schools and parks.

Additionally, our own nearby city of Boston has made tremendous advances. It became the first major city in the United States to mandate that all large-scale privately developed real estate comply with LEED certification standards.

Learn more about LEED standards at http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAS077433.

The Color Wheel Becomes Clean-tech

Color plays a major part in our lives – it influences our mood, style, and personality and brings value to our daily life. As a designer, I flip through color books hoping that someone might discover a new color. It won’t happen, but it’s fun to imagine.

Are white and black colors? This is highly debatable and depends on who you ask. A scientist might say, “Black is not a color as all colors are absorbed while white is a color as all colors are reflected.”

But is it possible that color could help global warming?

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that global warming could be slowed by a low-tech idea that has nothing to do with coal plants or solar panels: white roofs. Chu said that a white roof “changes the reflectivity . . . of the Earth, so the sunlight comes in, it’s reflected back into space.”

Dark roofs absorb and hold more than 80% of solar energy, while white ones can reflect 75% of it away. The reflected light then escapes through the polluted atmosphere. Therefore, a building will remain cooler and save on energy costs (of course, in a cold climate, having a darker roof can lower heating costs). Take a look at the beautiful island of Mykonos in Greece, where every building is white.

Research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California found that painting approximately 63% of the roofs white in 100 large, temperate climate cities would provide similar climate benefits to removing all the world’s cars from the road for 10 years.

There is much more to consider than the color of your roof when it comes to the issue of global warming. But, inspiration can come from anywhere. Maybe next year white will be the new green.

Sugar Cane Saves Trees

sugar1Over the past few years, our clients have joined us in producing printed materials on environmentally friendly paper, both because it’s the right thing to do and because our clients’ constituencies take note of what they are doing as individuals and businesses.

Obama’s inaugural invitation was printed on a FSC-certified paper called Nennah’s Classic Crest. Do you remember hearing in the past about the kind of paper the President chose for his invitation? (Though Neenah has provided the paper for the last three presidents’ inaugurations). Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will be recycling this valuable keepsake — but then again, it’s not likely to end up in landfills either.

Queensland University of Technology researcher in Australia discovered a new way to make paper. It uses bagasse, the fibrous sugar cane waste from sugar production. The bagasse fiber is made into pulp for the production of paper, board, structural and packaging materials like tableware that fast food vendors can use. This “treeless” paper is 100% biodegradable and compostable, and it gives sugar cane producers another industry into which they can sell.

Technically, sugar cane was first used by the Egyptians for producing paper, but the process was lost when the technology of using wood fibers became widely adopted. With tree-made paper accounting for more than 90 percent of the world’s paper production, this valuable research is crucial. The use of sugar cane helps to preserve our forests and turns out to be cheaper than using wood. Not to mention the fact that using recycled paper also saves up to 64% of energy costs. Incidentally, many new energy companies are focusing on bagasse as an ideal material for biofuel.

Every time you make a paper selection, you have the power to help protect our environment.

Spares, Strikes and Turkeys: HB Bowl-a-Rama

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This year, Hart-Boillot is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. In honor of the milestone, an HB employee will plan an outing each month in 2009 for the HB team. It is a great way to celebrate the company but also promotes team bonding. February’s event was “bad for you” (greasy, cheesy and yummy) pizza and bowling. Click on the photo above to watch the highlight video.

Distinctive Spaces

Check out the latest website we designed and programmed for our client, Mollie Johnson Interiors. You will find the portfolio section inspiring and filled with elegant interiors. Visit the site at www.molliejohnsoninteriors.com.

Celebrating 70 Years

Every year, Hart-Boillot looks forward to designing the Annual Report for The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. The Nieman Foundation is a program that provides a year of study at Harvard for working journalists. It is the oldest and best-known mid-career program for journalists in the world.

This year’s report is special in that it is also a commemorative booklet celebrating 70 years of Nieman Fellowships.

Our design brings together a modern look with historic tones. The silver ink on the rich red cover creates an elegant look.

Check out Nieman’s new website to learn more about the program: www.nieman.harvard.edu.

Don't Drink the Water

Camel in IndiaMy husband and I recently returned from a trip to Southern India – Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum. My husband’s family are of Indian descent and this was my first trip. The experience was more amazing than I can put into words.

Nothing in India is predictable. It is complete sensory overload. It’s hard to describe a place where things are happening 360 degrees around you.

One way I can attempt to describe it would be: At the same time I was gazing at a beautifully-carved Hindu temple, I watched women in dazzling saris sell market goods under an umbrella to avoid the intense burning sun, a monkey steal an ear of corn out of a woman’s hand and other monkeys climb on a nearby car, cows graze in the street eating coconuts, an ox pull a truckload of goods in this overwhelmingly busy street, a family of four on a single motorcycle whiz through traffic and finally a little boy asking me if I had any chocolate he could have.

Wow. I feel exhausted just writing that sentence. Actually, I feel excited.

Seeing so much happen made me feel rejuvenated. The people are more religiously devout in all three faiths than I have ever met. There are many ethnic groups, each practicing daily traditions while sharing in a rich culture with deeply-rooted family values.

I met countless family members that welcomed me with open arms. Not only did I acquire a better understanding of my husband’s family, but of the life they had before immigrating to the United States. I never realized how much of a shock it must have been when they immigrated. I have so much respect for my husband’s parents for having the courage to start a new life in a different country so that they could give their children more opportunities.

The trip was interrupted the day after we left Bangalore when there was an episode of multiple small bombs, which killed a few people. This is a rarity in the southern part of the country.

When we landed back in Logan airport, I was confused. I just didn’t know where all the traffic and cows were. And, I could wash my face from water out of the tap. I joke about these differences, but I can’t wait to go back.

I have many stories to share, feel free to ask.

Wear Blue: Bring Green

We recently completed a creative invitation for a fundraiser supporting Compassionate Care ALS and the MDAA/ALS Center at UMass Memorial Medical Center. We were tasked with creating an elegant invitation with a Southwestern flair.

Our design included a swatch of denim adhered to a textured paper with a simple message: Wear Blue. Bring Green.

The event was filled with an audience excited to wear blue jeans at the classy Tutnuck Country Club. Attendees brought their “green” with them as the event successfully raised nearly $100,000.

The invitation design has been given an honorable mention by MarCom Awards.