May 22, 2017

POSTED BY

Bianca Ng

CATEGORY

The 1977 EPA Graphic Standards System Reissue 40 Years Later

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thestandardsmanual/reissue-of-the-1977-epa-graphic-standards-system 40 years after the limited 1977 EPA Graphic Standards System was released, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth are reissuing the rare manual as a hardcover book. What is this and why would you care? Here is a quick (and important) history lesson about the environment in the U.S.: Two …

40 years after the limited 1977 EPA Graphic Standards System was released, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth are reissuing the rare manual as a hardcover book. What is this and why would you care? Here is a quick (and important) history lesson about the environment in the U.S.:

Two events sparked environmental change: First, in 1962 Rachel Carson released her book, ‘Silent Spring,’ a critic on pollution in the U.S. Second, in 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio catches on fire due to overwhelming pollution. The U.S. was officially contaminated, dirty, and nasty. Then in 1969, President Nixon, alarmed by this realization, created the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to counteract this. On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans celebrate the first Earth Day.

While this was a positive start to the movement, there were issues within the EPA. The major issues were the inconsistencies within the organization. The government worked hard to consolidate the state offices, including research activities, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement activities. This allowed them to be more efficient in conveying their mission statement “working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.” Another incredibly inefficient aspect within the organization was their graphic design and communication department. Millions of dollars were going down the drain because of non-standardized formats and inefficient processes.

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Then in 1977, came Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and partner Steff Geissbühler, a legendary design firm. Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar, and Steff Geissbühler tackled the problem head on and began with redesigning the logo. More than just designing a logo, their meticulously designed, standardized manual played a huge role in progressing federal programs for public good.

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This beautifully designed manual has been a hidden gem for too long. Finally, for the first time ever, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, partnering with AIGA and EarthJustics, have made it possible for designers, design lovers, and environmentalists to enjoy the rare manual in all its glory. They’ve created a Kickstarter campaign to preserved this iconic piece of design history.

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There are only four more days to get your hand on this historic and gorgeous book! Support this project here.

For more information about the EPA, click here, or about Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, click here.

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