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:

kew_pack_outer

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.

kew_pack_letter

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

kew_pack_front

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

kew_pack_reveal

First reveal.

kew_pack_second_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.

kew_pack_back

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

kew_pack_response

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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