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A Culture of Green

beth-singer-design

Beth Singer Design

ARLINGTON VA

Beth Singer founded Beth Singer Design in 1981 on her twin passions for great design and giving back to the community. Since then, the work has raised millions of dollars, changed minds, opened hearts and inspired ordinary people to act on their ideas for the greater good. They work closely with advocacy groups, government, health organizations, educational institutions, museums and cultural groups and corporations to achieve their goals through design solutions. Most clients have been with the firm for more than 10 years and turn to it to conceptualize, design and produce communication strategies, brand and identity programs, marketing and educational materials, advertising campaigns, annual reports, books and booklets, exhibits and stages, websites and multimedia presentations. The caliber and quality of the work has been widely recognized with more than 100 peer and industry awards.

For several years, Beth Singer Design has been designing branded environments and stage backdrops for conferences and annual meetings. As clients grew, so did the scale of the events, and the amount of raw materials used to stage them. At the end of these events, explains Singer, “we were astonished and dismayed to see the materials quickly discarded in the trash bins. So, we began to think about how to save these precious resources — both in raw materials and our client’s budget. Because large-scale staging is expensive to manufacture, ship and store, we looked for ways to reuse as much of the equipment as possible, to save money and save the planet.”
 
Developing one staging system that could be reused, reconfigured and resized according to the scale of the event was a good solution for our client, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Although the client is headquartered in Washington D.C., they have 13 regional offices that host several events each year, from intimate speaker engagements to ballroom-sized, sit-down dinners. Singer developed a stage system with interchangeable fabric graphic skins stretched over lightweight, recycled aluminum box-frames that could be customized onsite for the venue. The seven-piece grouping can accommodate larger stages, or can be paired down to a five- or three-piece system for smaller gatherings. The structure ships as a compact, light package — saving on shipping and setup time. The client purchased five frame systems that they “planted” at AIPAC offices throughout the country, so that the packages never have far to ship. For the reusable graphic skins, Singer created a variety of designs from which the regional offices could select. In addition, via AIPAC’s intranet, the firm helps coordinate onsite materials for each design. The skins are printed on wrinkle-free fabrics folded into compact packages, and shipped at a low cost and with less impact on the environment.
 
Another by-product of large-scale events are the hanging vinyl banners promoting the organization’s presence at the arena, hotel or outdoor setting. Considered one-offs, they are relegated to the trash bin after the show. To repurpose the banners, Singer tapped New York-based Urban Samaritan, which benefits the homeless by providing job skills and paid work. The group takes used banners from museums, events and cultural institutions and makes them into products such as durable tote bags appropriate for sales in museum shops or other retailers. Singer approached the client, AJC (American Jewish Committee), with the idea of turning the banners into branded giveaways for members, donors and staff. Thrilled that this dovetailed with their own green mission statement, Singer says the AJC jumped on the idea.

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