Alex Crowe

Saving the world, one seed at a time

In Portfolio on December 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

The Millennium Seed Bank Appeal was one of the best briefs I’ve ever been given. Apart from the chance to save the world, seed by seed, I got to write a letter signed by living legend Sir David Attenborough. He approved the text and the quote on the back cover with no changes. Here’s the mailpack we sent out:


Years ago, I remember hearing about some testing by Ogilvy & Mather Direct on the effectiveness of images and headlines on envelopes versus blank. Blank won. If I was to redo this now, I’d argue for a cellophane-free window and recycled paper.


Here’s that letter. Again, I’d push for FSC paper at least.


Leaflet front cover. This is A5 landscape and faced recipients as they pulled it from the envelope.


First reveal.


Second reveal. I remember wrestling with the call to action on this. I asked Joe Fraine what he thought and he suggested the: “…send your money today. Tomorrow could be too late.” He meant it as a joke but I went with it. It’s a good line.


Back cover. Full disclosure: Sir David never said that – that was me.


And an envelope to finish. I wouldn’t go with a full stop in the “Affix stamp here” box. This must have been done when I wasn’t looking.

Final thought

A few years ago I went to Wakehurst Place and saw the Seed Bank for myself. What stopped me in my tracks was the logo I saw on a lab coat draped over the back of a chair – a logo I sketched on a layout pad years before, that was finished by my art director, Keith Douglas, and Head of Studio, Carl Shand. I really hope the scientists like it – they’ve got to look at it all day.

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