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Make your business cards environmentally friendly and memorable

By Damir Beciri
24 October 2009

naturalmedium-1As much as we like to think that things like business cards are no longer important in our digital world, the fact is that they are still a very valuable tool for anyone in business. However, as most of the old objects find their more contemporary successors today,  the business cards found their new way to become  a little more environmentally friendly and memorable. Tátil Design, a Brazilian design firm, has used laser etching to cut logos, messages and images into delicate dead leaves that can only be seen when held up to a light source. Called “Natural Medium“, these unusual promotional tools are a truly unique piece of marketing communications.

The project Natural Media is an ecologic flyer in the form of dry leaf, which receives different designs through a process of laser engraving. The Natural Media leaves were considered a product with low environmental impact, and had been rewarded for its originality. Tátil Design came up with the elegant marketing idea, which they used in 2008 during the 55th Cannes Advertising Festival to promote their “Designing Naturally” workshop.

The purpose of the “Designing Naturally” workshop was to discuss the role of design as a tool to transform the future, giving examples of solutions with low environmental impact.  Wanting to find a way to naturally promote their design workshop back in 2008, Tátil Design came up with a simple idea that not only demonstrated the purpose of their workshop, but was elegant and beautiful to look at.

The designers collected fallen leaves and then selected images that expressed the intent of the workshop. Designs varied from animals to dancers, burgers to planes, and ants to soup cans. The images were then laser cut into the dried leaves, which left a beautiful silhouette of the images and words which promoted the workshop.

The leaves were a big hit at the festival. Steve Latham, contents coordinator of the 55th Cannes Publicity Festival, said: “I must say that in my 3 years organizing the Cannes Lions Festival, the work put into the marketing for this workshop has actually been the best I’ve ever seen, in the seminar program and the workshop program. It was so creative and simple, environmentally friendly….it’s just been fantastic. I’ve seen people playing with these things, with the leaves, trying to understand what they are…and, of course, there’s a message in there inviting people to come to workshop. I found it just amazing and innovative. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the making of this project and it is something I would recommend as an idea for future seminar and workshop holders. So, congratulations!”

Tátil’s Natural Media project, which won the Bronze Lion at Cannes Lions 2009, won another prize – the gold award of the IDEA Brazil competition in the eco-design category. Beside the inquisitive nature it triggers and the attention grabbing effect, it is a truly eco friendly idea. The leaves can be naturally collected and dried, and the energy needed for laser etching is minimal. Once used, people tend to keep them because of their uniqueness, and even if they don’t nature recycles leaves as ones which fall in nature. If a combination of some environmentally friendly agents and leaves were combined in order to preserve their structural integrity and longevity were combined, there would be no question if old paper business cards would become obsolete.

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