Pinch, along with our friends at Pyramid Communications, was commissioned to develop a resource guide and toolkit for Metro's multifamily (that's trade talk for apartments and condominiums) recycling program. Working with a large group of representatives of the various jurisdictions in the Metro area, the final product — though lovely and useful, natch — is almost more of a victory for Pinch and Pyramid's consensus-building skills than a work of brand development.

It's that, too, though: starting from scratch, we turned the results of extensive interviews with area property managers into a simple, five-step procedure, half of which gave managers common-sense figures and business-case testimonials to help them catch the recycling religion. The other half gave them practical advice and contact information, so that they would know exactly what to do once they caught it.


Okay, okay: a cute kid at a recycling bin on the cover. Well, you have to get into it somehow, and our research showed that children are the agents of change within their households, in terms of recycling. Many of Metro’s recycling educational programs are designed to take advantage of this. Jerry Hart made the photograph, and that’s McIsaac’s own pristine recycling in the bin. Sharper observers will notice that the typography and layout borrow from the work Pinch did for Metro’s Recycle at Work program. That’s no coincidence.


Big-type argument/anæsthesia. The “toolkit” is a 9 × 12 custom double-pocket folder, into which we stitched a twelve-page resource guide. The pockets would be filled with jurisdiction-specific information, allowing the piece to be both local and small-f federal: distribution happens at the city and county level, over which Metro kind of floats like a big balloon.

Nuts & bolts.

We broke Metro’s argument into five parts; pages were shingled for easy reference. Rhetoric is as follows: evangelism on the left page, composed of recycling statistics germane to the property manager and a business-oriented testimonial from an actual property manager who had found success through the program. Praxis goes on the right: here, a discussion of how to set up a recycling area for proper use.

Resident & staff education.

A page that tells you exactly what and what can’t be recycled in the region’s new two-sort system. Pinch operative Mark Conahan made simple line illustrations for each category.

The worst stuff.

Pages discussing how to deal with problem tenants and unexpected waste (e.g., medical waste, fluorescent tubes, etc.) attached to phone numbers specific to those issues.


All major area recycling resources on one page, with room for customization.

Beyond recycling.

Pages explaining what to do once your basic recycling is up and running well: resources on green remodeling, biodegradable cleaning supplies, lawn care, alternative transportation and so on.