For many years the industry has provided a wealth of research, information and resources to address the perception surrounding the sustainability of print and paper. And while these organizations have done an amazing job educating us and helping us have intelligent conversations on the topic, for the most part we have collectively fallen short reaching past our own community, especially in regard to being seen as “tree killers” in the public’s eye.

While the answer to our PR Perception Problem prayers may indeed lie with Paper Check-Off and a National Ad Campaign a la’ “Got Milk?”… until that happens I wanted to try and do something to jump start the effort beyond our circles.

SuperTreeManMEET…. THIS GUY! He is the Superhero of Paper and Print – Spreading our sustainability message, and ready to do battle with the Greenwash Machine!

While consumer friendly, and more important KID friendly infographics and other materials (animated videos, comics etc) are in the process of being financed and developed, to kick off his introduction I am inviting everyone to NAME HIM!

Here is his back-story:

Once a tree growing in a managed forest, a direct hit of supercharged lightning during an isolated and mysterious storm brought him to life. While he was learning about his powers and about the forest that surrounded him, he assumed his mission was to watch over the trees, but soon it was clear that trees didn’t needed protection – they were already being protected and thriving in managed forests, growing strong and being planted faster than being harvested. Realizing his true mission was to share that message and teach people about sustainability and recycling, he left the forest to spread the word. It didn’t take long before his nemesis – The Greenwasher (coming soon!) reared his ugly head and the battle for TRUTH and Print and Paper JUSTICE began!

His motto: Print Responsibly… and Recycle!

Personally, I wanted to call him Mr. Tree and have him be a parody of Mr. T… but I assumed lawyers would get involved at some point, so I let it go. We have been calling him “TreeMan” in the interim but I know there is a better name and I have confidence one of you will suggest it!

Leave your ideas here in comments, on our Facebook page, or tweet @PrintMediaCentr and include #printsuperhero so everyone can follow!

This concept has been swirling in my head for a while and would have remained there if not for the design and illustration skills of Lynette Pond-Maymi, winner of the 2013 Two Sides US EcoGraphic Challenge, who I commissioned to create him. I should also add patience to her list of skills since she was juggling my many comments and a toddler during the process! I am happy she agreed to work with me and more cool stuff is coming!

Last thing I’d like to add is that the “TreeMan” (final name TBD) concept outlined above, and the illustration shown here are ©Print Media Centr LLC, and may not be reproduced or used in any manner without permission. Once he has a name, we will provide a plethora of materials for sharing!

Print Long, Responsibly, Recycle, and Prosper!

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