Sappi North America Announces Recipients of the 19th Annual Ideas that Matter Grant

Nine design projects receive funds to implement campaigns for social good with print
Sep 6, 2018 1:30 PM ET
Press Release

BOSTON, September 6, 2018 /3BL Media/ –  Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, today announced the recipients of its 19th annual Ideas that Matter grant program, which provides funds to support the production and distribution of printed social impact projects proposed by designer applicants.

This year’s jury of leading designers selected nine creative projects that highlight how print design can make an important contribution to solving social issues. Using paper, print, integrated digital and social media, as well as exhibitions and events, the winning grants address a wide range of topics.

The proposed projects will encourage youth literacy, sustainability and waste reduction and nutrition education. Others include prevention campaigns addressing disaster preparedness and sexual harassment. Additional projects will develop education and outreach campaigns to tackle key challenges in the design community — inspiring a diverse workforce and tracking outcomes and impact for social design initiatives.

“Sappi actively supports the pressing social needs of individuals, communities and our environment through the Ideas that Matter program,” said Patti Groh, director of marketing communications, Sappi North America. "Not only are we honored to have helped so many social impact projects come to life, but we are proud to have played an important role in the design for social good movement. As we enter the 20th year of this program, we look forward to working with the community as a beacon for support, education and inspiration in design for social good.”

Ideas that Matter will celebrate 20 years of success in 2019 and continues to be a cornerstone of Sappi’s corporate social responsibility platform. Since the program’s inception, Sappi has made global contributions totaling more than $13 million and has funded more than 500 projects. The program is open to North American designers, design firms and students who are partnered with a nonprofit organization and have developed a communication campaign that is ready for implementation.

Selection Criteria

Ideas that Matter proposals are evaluated on creativity, plans for implementation and potential impact by an independent panel of judges who are selected annually and are recognized for their commitment to design for social impact. The 2018 judges were Justin Ahrens, Principal and Creative Director, Rule29; Terry Marks, Principal, tmarks; Jacinda Walker, Founder, designExplorr; Maurice Woods, Senior Experience Design Microsoft and Inneract Project Founder; and Julia Zeltser, Creative Director and Principal, Hyperakt.

The 2018 Ideas that Matter Recipients:

Designer or Firm

Project Title

Project Description

Nonprofit Beneficiary

Brian Singer




San Francisco, Calif.

Disaster preparedness guides for San Francisco and Bay Area residents. This guide was designed to address a gap in the current approach to dealing with emergencies before, during and after a major disaster.

Social Good Fund


San Francisco, Calif.

Esther Pearl Watson, Mark Todd, Elizabeth Chin and students


Designmatters, ArtCenter College of Design


Pasadena, Calif.

Let's Read Together: Supporting Early Literacy in Rural Haiti

A mini-library of 10 books, designed by Illustration students from ArtCenter College of Design. The books are culturally and linguistically relevant to rural Haiti, whose literacy rate stands around 50 percent. Distributed to schools and families through the Matènwa Community Learning Center, these books will encourage reading as part of everyday life and help to build habits and affinities that support education.

Friends of Matènwa


Cambridge, Mass.

Abby Chen and Flora Chan

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

Brooklyn, N.Y.

"It's Not Just Personal" Poster Distribution Campaign

An illustrated guide for student survivors of sexual violence, especially women of color, LGBTQ, and gender nonconforming individuals to help them understand their rights on campus and determine what actions they can take to hold their colleges accountable to their needs. The guide, a collaboration of Black Women’s Blueprint, designers Abby Chen and Flora Chan, and CUP, was designed to fold out into a poster that will be distributed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), through health clinics, student advocate groups, sororities, fraternities and affinity groups.

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sam Aquillano


Design Museum Foundation


Boston, Mass.

Inspiring Careers: Diversity in Design

A multi-faceted campaign including a traveling exhibition, public events, a website and publication to encourage young adults, particularly women and those from underserved communities of color, to explore careers in design and creative problem solving.

Design Museum Foundation


Boston, Mass.

Marcos Chavez and Sage Smith




Brooklyn, N.Y.

Read To Me!

A book and learning tablet to be included in Parent-Child Home Program's (PCHP) early childhood literacy program for under-resourced families. These educational tools were designed and written to help simplify the parent-child interaction when reading together to build critical school readiness skills.

Parent-Child Home Program


Mineola, N.Y.

Justin Ahrens, Gage Mitchell, Lennie Mowris, Laurel Webster and Laetitia Wolff

AIGA Design for Good Task Force

New York, N.Y.

Path to Impact

Integrated campaign providing an actionable and accessible framework of activities to guide organizations, communities and individuals through the process of designing measurable and sustainable impact projects. The campaign includes a comprehensive workbook with design thinking exercises, as well as workshop and training strategies.

AIGA, the professional association for design

New York, N.Y.

Andrew Shea and John Roach

The New School

New York, N.Y.

Sound the Mound

Curriculum toolkit, technology-driven public art installations, exhibits and a supporting website focused on educating high school students about waste, sustainability and environmental health. The toolkit will be used by students who visit Freshkills Park (formerly the world’s largest landfill and now a park) and will be downloadable for use throughout the country.

The New School

New York, N.Y.

Omar N. Lopez and Cayla McCrea

Peace Over Violence

Los Angeles, Calif.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Initiative

A comprehensive and transformative sexual harassment prevention initiative designed to engage individuals, businesses and institutions in building sexual harassment-free communities where harassment is no longer ignored but eliminated. Tools include a training manual, digital communications and outreach material.

Peace Over Violence

Los Angeles, Calif.

Allyson Lack


Houston, Texas

Brighter Bites Cookbook

Cookbook with original “Brighter Bites” recipes, nutritional information and kitchen tip sheets to guide families in incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diets. This book was designed to demystify new food items and support individual health to create vibrant communities.

Brighter Bites

Houston, Texas


For more information about Sappi's 2018 Ideas that Matter grant recipients in North America, please visit our website. The Call for Entries for next year's Ideas that Matter program will be announced in the Spring of 2019.

About Sappi North America, Inc.

Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers with our Ultracast, PolyEX, Classics and Neoterix lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: