Industry Press Releases

Sappi North America opens 2015 'Ideas that Matter' Call for Entries

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sappi North America today officially announced its call for 2015 Ideas that Matter grant proposals, inviting designers to show the world how design, specifically print, can play an important role in changing lives for the better. Sappi established the Ideas that Matter grant program 15 years ago to fund designers who apply their creative talents to causes that address significant issues facing our society. Over the past decade and a half, Sappi has witnessed world-changing, integrated work firsthand as a part of the program and is committed to the belief that good ideas inspire people to take action, great ideas change the world. In a world gone digital, print is at the heart of influential and effective messaging.

"Sappi understands how design can help solve our community's problems, and out of that thinking the program was born," said Jennifer Miller, Executive Vice President, Coated Business, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Sappi North America. "Ideas that Matter is a call to action for designers, agencies and students who want to do more than just deliver good design; they want to make a positive impact. Sappi is extremely proud of the success stories that have resulted from this program as well as their continued impact long after the grants are awarded. We are honored to support the work of these designers and nonprofits and know that the Ideas that Matter legacy lives on in the communities that have benefited from them."

Ideas that Matter Come to Life

Ideas that Matter is the only grant program of its kind in the paper industry that funds projects addressing a variety of social issues – from diversity and human rights campaigns to health and youth development. Since 1999 Sappi has funded more than 500 programs for a total of more than $12.5 million worldwide in support of causes that change lives, communities, and ultimately, the planet.

Each year, grant recipients use design thinking and their creative skills to develop printed communications materials that help change lives. These inspiring recipients include EducationSuperHighway, led by principal Naomi Usher at Studio Usher, who implemented their Ideas that Matter grant to help EducationSuperHighway garner support from the White House, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. EducationSuperHighway is a leading non-profit focused on upgrading Internet infrastructure to enable digital learning in America's K-12 public schools.

With Sappi's support through Ideas that Matter, EducationSuperHighway used the grant to develop material in print, digital and motion to reinforce and extend the message. But Usher believes it was the broadsheet, printed on 70lb/104gsm Sappi stock that set the tone for the campaign.

"It printed really beautifully...and there's something about having a print piece that makes you focus and commit to your message," states Usher. "With digital, you can continue to tweak forever, but once something's in print, it's out there for all to see. Because of the print deadline, there was a big push to perfect the story and visuals. Fine-tuning these elements was an invaluable aspect of the grant."

Videos of previous winners can be viewed on Sappi's Ideas that Matter microsite. Additional information is available on the Ideas that Matter Facebook page, Sappi's Facebook page, Twitter at @SappiNA or @IdeasthatMatter, and Instagram.

The company will also be hosting a special Ideas that Matter event at the upcoming HOW Design Live conference on May 7th from 10:15–11:00am at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Join Cheryl Heller, communications designer and the creator of Sappi's Ideas that Matter grant, for a special presentation on the impact of social design. Reserve your spot today by visiting here.

Selection Criteria and How to Enter

Ideas that Matter proposals are evaluated on creativity, potential effectiveness and practicality by an annually selected, independent panel of judges who are influential in the design industry. The full list of judges will be announced soon.

The call for Ideas that Matter submissions is open to individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups. Only applicants in North America may apply. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 per project. Each application must include an IRS 501 (c) 3 letter or Canadian equivalent of the applicant's nonprofit organization.

Applications for the 2015 program must be submitted and postmarked no later than July 17, 2015. Judging takes place in August, grants are announced in September, and awards distributed in October. Projects must be fully implemented within six months of receiving awards and a portion of the print materials must be on Sappi paper.

To obtain an entry form or for more information on the Ideas that Matter grant, please visit here or call 800-882-4332.

About Sappi North America

Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston and a subsidiary of global pulp and paper group Sappi Limited, is the 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 the world's largest manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and the world's leading supplier of Release Papers 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 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at:   

For further information:

Katelyn Leonowitz

Olga Karagiannis


Sappi North America

Office: 617-912-5423

Office: 617-423-5409

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