Only members can participate in our design competitions, so join now and create your solution to a social challenge.

Become A Member
Fsc_4_thumbnail_thumb_57 Comp-gallery

WOOD, PAPER, CHECKMARK: design an awareness campaign for sustainable forestry


With The Nature Conservancy, Forest Stewardship Council - U.S. (FSC-US)

Competition Brief

A competition to create elements of a consumer call-to-action campaign to buy FSC-certified products as a means of protecting forests around the world.


Forests nurture and sustain life on Earth. They give us fiber, food, fuel and fresh water. In fact, about two-thirds of people worldwide depend on forests to supply all or some portion of their fresh water. And more than 1 billion people living in extreme poverty depend on forests for their livelihoods and subsistence. Furthermore, forests harbor more than two-thirds of known terrestrial species. They renew the air we breathe and moderate our global climate by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it over the long term. They also play a major role in recycling atmospheric moisture and stabilizing soils.

We are all consumers of forests. From paper and magazines to building products and furniture, we are surrounded with the fiber of forests from around the world. But few of us know the origin of these forest products, much less if they were responsibly managed and legally harvested before making their way into our homes and offices.

The forest products trade, estimated at $300 billion a year, is a vast global industry. What we purchase in the United States, France or Japan can affect the health – or destruction – of forests in Indonesia, Cameroon or Brazil. Some of this trade is traffic in wood from forests that were poorly managed and illegally logged, with devastating consequences for people, wildlife and natural systems around the world. And deforestation – which claims 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forest each year – contributes approximately 20 percent of greenhouse gases causing climate change.

A critical tool in the race to save the world’s forests is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Founded in 1993, FSC is an international NGO certification and labeling system that promotes the responsible management of the world’s working forests. It is supported by social-welfare and workers’ rights groups, timber industry representatives, and the environmental and conservation community. Conservationists promote FSC certification as a means of safeguarding working forests – those that are managed to supply wood – which often surround and buffer national parks and other protected areas.

FSC is the only global certification system in which forest management practices are evaluated by an independent third party according to strong social, environmental and economic standards. Certified wood is tracked from forest to manufacturer to corporate retailer to consumer. The FSC label gives consumers the assurance that the wood and paper products they purchase are sourced responsibly and legally. More than 281 million acres of forest in 79 countries have been certi¬fied to FSC’s standards, and these figures are rising by approximately 12 percent per year.


Consumer awareness of FSC is uneven globally. Consumer awareness translates directly into increased demand for FSC-certified forest products (e.g., building materials, paper, furniture, flooring), which, in turn, drives demand for more forests to meet FSC’s standards. But in the Netherlands, prompted consumer recognition of FSC is 67%, while in the United States – the largest consuming market of wood products in the world – public awareness of and, therefore, demand for FSC is negligible. Moving more forestland into FSC status will require consumers and corporations in the United States and other high-value markets, such as the EU, Australia and Japan, to be aware of and ask for FSC-certified products.


This is a call-to-action campaign that asks targeted consumers to purchase FSC products as a means of protecting forests around the world.

Your entry must include:

1 A compelling, persuasive message/approach that:

  • Creates awareness of FSC and shows people that by buying FSC, they can play an active role in protecting forests.
  • Drives people to a consumer-searchable website where they can locate FSC products to buy.

2 A campaign design that includes these mandatory elements:

(For specifications, see both the “Required Entry Elements & Specifications” section and the “Entry Provisions” section outlined further down the page.)

  • A print ad
  • A suite of online advertising banners and buttons

3 A URL name suggestion for the consumer-searchable website with FSC product locations.

Optional elements: Your campaign design may also include the following; however, these are optional only, and cannot be submitted without 1, 2 and 3 above:

  • A short video that can be used as the basis of an online viral marketing campaign (see video file specifications in Entry Provisions).
  • Other viral applications that can be used in social networking sites such as Facebook.

Note: Entries are limited to text, images and video/audio files only. Any proposed interactive elements must be represented using only these tools. Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN 21 website will be disqualified. See the Entry Provisions below as well as the competition Rules section for full details on file type, size and number constraints.


  • Illegal logging and deforestation threatens people, wildlife, our economies and our climate.
  • Buying FSC-certified products will help protect forests around the world.

Note: Retailers promoting FSC-certified wood products are required to use one of the following two tag lines in association with the FSC logo: “The Mark of Responsible Forestry” or “Responsible Forest Management.” This does not mean that these lines need to be included in the elements of this competition. The purpose of this note is just to make you aware that these lines are often visible in point-of-sale materials, catalogs, etc., and should be taken into consideration to ensure that your proposed designs do not somehow clash with these tag lines.


Forest Stewardship Council-US and The Nature Conservancy are co-beneficiaries on this DESIGN 21 competition.

  • Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) is the U.S. “chapter” of the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organization, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, that is devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable way.
  • The Nature Conservancy is an international non-profit conservation organization working in more than 30 countries to protect the lands and waters on which the diversity of life depends. The Conservancy is committed to creating a future in which Earth’s natural systems are conserved and managed in a sustainable manner for people and nature.

These two organizations are collaborating with a number of other leading conservation organizations including the World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF-US), National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Rainforest Alliance to increase consumer awareness of and demand for FSC products.


The initial use of the winning entry will be to promote FSC among a key subset of the “conservation-engaged”: the members and online audiences of the Conservancy, WWF-US, NWF and Rainforest Alliance – more than five million people in all. In a recent TNC survey, over two-thirds of self-identified “committed and involved” members said they had never heard of FSC certification, although 99 percent said they would be willing to purchase certified legal and sustainable forest products. Awareness of FSC among this key conservation-engaged audience must be strengthened, and we need to ask them to buy FSC products as a means of conserving forests and protecting the environment.


The audience for the FSC call-to-action campaign is the “conservation-engaged” – those who have made a financial contribution to or volunteered their time to support an environmental/conservation organization.

  • These are people who would call themselves “conservationists” or “environmentalists.”
  • They care about nature, wildlife, clean air and water, healthy forests, tackling climate change and making the world a better place for future generations.
  • They actively take measures to protect the environment or support conservation.
  • They are likely to join and donate to an environmental/conservation NGO.
  • They are generally college educated, more likely to be women and have above average incomes.
  • They believe that their individual actions (e.g., their purchasing decisions, energy use, recycling) can help protect the environment.
  • They are likely to buy products (and even spend slightly more for them) that they know will provide a benefit to the environment.


I want to look for and buy FSC-certified wood and paper products, because that is something I can do to protect forests around the world.


  • Call-to-action must drive people to the consumer-searchable website to find and buy FSC-certified products.
  • A URL name suggestion (The website is currently in development and the URL name is not known at present.)
  • Print ad required in full page and quarter page formats. (Full-page size: 8.5 x 11.125 inches, quarter-page horizontal: 3 ½ x 4.75 inches)
  • Specifications for online ads (pixel dimensions):
    • Standard Banner: 468 x 60
    • Standard Skyscraper: 120 x 550
    • Standard Button: 120 x 90

  • Must feature prominently/incorporate the FSC logo. The logo must be used in its entirety, and must not be truncated. See the logo Specifications section below.


FSC logo color

The FSC Green logo color is Pantone 626; CMYK 100 / 60 / 100 / 20; RGB 50 / 80 / 60

FSC logo size & exclusion zone

The minimum size of the logo is 12 mm in height. No text or graphic should appear within the exclusion zone of the FSC logo. The exclusion zone is the area that runs around the FSC logo that is the height of the letters FSC.

FSC logo trademark protection

The FSC logo shall always appear with the registered trademark symbol, ®.

Logo files

Click here for .jpg file

Click here for .eps file


Entries are limited to text, images and video/audio files only. Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN 21 website will be disqualified. See the "How To Enter" Rules for full details on file type, size and number constraints and recommendations.

  • Up to 400-word description (English only)
  • Up to six (6) images of maximum image size 550 x 550 pixels. At least one image must be uploaded
  • One (1) 480 x 320 pixel video file (optional) or one (1) sound file (optional)


Tuesday January 13, 2009

Judging Criteria

In addition to D21’s general judging criteria stated in the Rules, specific criteria for this competition includes:

  • How well does the entry achieve its goal?
  • How well does the entry communicate the message(s)?
  • Is the message positive, rather than negative?
  • How strong is the entry aesthetically?
  • How strong is the entry technically?
  • Is the FSC logo used correctly and featured prominently?
  • How innovative are the design solutions? Do they clearly communicate the message and resonate with the audience?
  • Entries that cast a negative light on an organization, corporation, government, country, community or person will be disqualified.


Total prize money of $10,000 will be allocated as follows:

$5,000 to the Overall Winner chosen by The Nature Conservancy and FSC-US;
$5,000 divided between multiple prizes: DESIGN 21 Judge’s Picks and Most Popular


The judges who will choose the Overall Winner are:

Corey Brinkema, President of Forest Stewardship Council-U.S.

Michael Conroy, Head of Colibrí Consulting – Certification for Sustainable Development, and a member of the board of FSC-US

Martha Hodgkins, Senior Advisor with The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Trade Program

Matt Mattox, Senior Strategic Planner with The Martin Agency

Robert M. Perkowitz, Founder and President of the environmental non-profit organization ecoAmerica, and Managing Director of the ecologically-conscious product website, VivaTerra LLC

In addition, members of DESIGN 21's Advisory Board will be selecting their favorites to receive a prize (D21 Judge's Picks). These are:

Niti Bhan (Singapore) Strategic design planning consultant and co-founder of the Emerging Futures Lab

Jennifer Leonard (Canada) Design researcher, writer and strategist at IDEO

David Carlson (Sweden) Brand consultant and founder of furniture brand David Design, trend guide David Report, and consultancy/event Designboost

Halim Chouiery (Lebanon) Designer and educator, and vice president of ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations)

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

More About Competitions