Raleigh Solar Compactor Poster

The Wild Design shown in the Featured Image is an analog format, as it is a poster displayed on one of the solar compactor trash/recycling bins on Hillsborough Street. In 2013, the city of Raleigh implemented high-technology BigBelly Trash and Recycling Bins that use solar compaction to reduce the space waste takes up. These cans automatically compact trash and recyclables, sending workers an email when they’re full for cleaning. These cans themselves benefit the city as taxpayers have to pay less money for the collection of trash as it happens with lesser frequency. The reduction of manpower and costs are clearly beneficial for the city, which is why the poster itself serves to emphasize the environmentally friendly route Raleigh as a city is heading towards.

The poster itself is incredibly simple, with a bright lime green background and white foreground. The foreground consists of a symbol and the text “Raleigh.” The symbol is a recycling symbol shaped as a heart instead of its conventional circular shape. The heart itself may serve as a replacement for “Love,” with the whole poster stating “Love Raleigh” as the bin’s purpose is to reduce littering. I find it interesting how they chose the heart shape and not to use any more text on this poster, as usually wraps that are adhered on products that are environmentally friendly tend to explicitly state how exactly this benefits the city. I am assuming that in this case, the “Solar” in the logo of the manufacturing company BigBelly speaks for itself in that this bin is using solar energy and is thus “green.” This also leads into how the poster is such a brightly saturated green, literally alluding to the “green” actions Raleigh is taking by utilizing these bins. This green is quite unavoidable and with numerous bins on Hillsborough, it is evident that the city is evoking a message that it is progressive.

In contrast to the vector “clipart”-esque heart shaped recycling symbol, the text “Raleigh” is stylized to appear handwritten. The text is written in all majuscule letterforms, and as it is the only text on the poster, it is written in a larger display size. I personally like how the tail of the “R” is longer and curved. The handwritten and intentionally “messy” nature of the type evokes the idea that the city is personable.

Overall, the poster does a good job of showcasing the ecological steps the city is taking with minimal text and images.

Discussion — One Response

  • Ann Frohbose 04/04/2019 on 6:57 PM

    This is really neat! Thanks for bringing this to attention. I am ashamed to say I have never noticed these trash cans or knew the significance of them. That is one thing about graphic design I really like—how integrated it is in our environment and the challenge it presents to make something noticeable, or impactful. When something is presented on an object we use every day, one that is so ubiquitous we don’t pay special attention to it, the design can be overlooked. So it makes sense that they chose a really bright green as opposed to the dark green that colors most traditional trashcans in an effort to make it stand out, as something different. This is definitely something to consider as you continue with your design degree! How to effectively design for spaces that can often be overlooked.

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