Celebrating the Finest On Earth™

Blue Thumb Partner Recognition Event

Creative Direction, Event Branding, Print and Web Design

happy gardeners image for Blue Thumb event promotional postcard design


When you’re a non-profit whose life force is dependent upon partnerships, you want those partners to know how valued they are and retain their commitment to your cause. For Blue ThumbPlanting for Clean Water® Partners “Thumbs Up!” recognition event, I “declared” Blue Thumb Partners to be the Finest On Earth™ as part of the event theme and theme logo. (It was so well-liked by that Blue Thumb plans to leverage this concept in future promotional efforts).

ABOVE: Blue Thumb’s Partner Recognition Event Theme Logo

Blue Thumb’s mission is simple — to address the number one threat to water quality – stormwater runoff – as declared by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Blue ThumbPlanting for Clean Water® program is about developing ecologically functional landscapes, as in raingardens, native plants and shoreline stabilization projects to reduce runoff and improve water quality.

Blue Thumb’s goal – to have 10,000 plantings by 2020 is not so simple. For that Blue Thumb needs strategic partners – watershed districts, conservation districts, cities and counties, nonprofit organizations, private businesses, such as native plant nurseries, landscape designers and installers, equipment and material suppliers, and others, working together towards this goal.

ABOVE: The Blue Thumb’s Partner Recognition theme logo was designed to be flexible and have multiple applications as the client request it — as in these web badges.

BELOW: For the 2017 Blue Thumb’s Partner Recognition theme logo, I repurposed the original design with this year’s theme to give their annual event visual continuity.

ABOVE: A postcard invitation was sent to current and potential partners — a simple “save the date” announcement designed to work with the client’s budget. Partnership program materials and agreement forms were updated with garden silhouette mastheads and improved design and layout to create a uniform and branded Blue Thumb Partner Packet.

BELOW: Postcard invitation design for 2017 Blue Thumb’s Partner Recognition Event with updated, repurposed theme graphic. We found a larger size postcard worked much better for content and visuals without going over budget.

ABOVE: Prior to its Partner Recognition Event, Blue Thumb’s website homepage needed a boost to make it more effective for the organization. Using its website’s current WordPress theme, I modified the homepage with a larger image+messaging slider to support their core mission “Planting for Clean Water.” The web copy was updated to better clarify “why people should plant for clean water?” “what is Blue Thumb?” and “who is a Blue Thumb Partner?” with clear button links to guide visitors deeper into the website.

To give Blue Thumb’s Partners greater exposure on the homepage, partner logos are displayed (sized in equal proportions), in an auto-scroll slideshow. Each partner logo links to its own description details page within the Blue Thumb website. At the page bottom, a big “Call to Action” banner with “Make the Pledge to Plant for Clean Water” messaging rounds out Blue Thumb’s homepage improvements.

BELOW: Social memes designed and posted to promote Blue Thumb’s Partner Recognition Event and give shout outs to their partners.

This project was in collaboration with MP+G Marketing Solutions who provided the communications plan and strategy, key messages, client and project management. Grand Ciel Design provided art direction, concepts, design, production, project coordination, and creative know-how to get the most out of a tight budget.

“Going Native” showcases our first Blue Thumb project. See it now.

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Event Branding
Theme Graphics
Invitational Postcards
Web Consulting & Design
Partner Agreement Templates
Social Memes

“Kristin always surprises me with her willingness to dig deep into the strategy and her creative vision. The result is a thoughtfully integrated design that brings clarity beyond the design.”

~ Mary Pat McNeil, Solutions Master at MP&G Marketing Solutions

Blue Thumb—Planting for Clean Water® is a public/private partnership that promotes native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilization projects to reduce runoff and improve water quality.

Partners include local governmental units (watershed districts, conservation districts, cities and counties), non-profit organizations, and private companies such as nurseries, landscape design and build companies, and other companies that are working toward Blue Thumb goals.

Blue Thumb is operated and managed by Metro Blooms through a license agreement with the Rice Creek Watershed District.

View Site: Blue Thumb