Building Better Presentations

High-end NW general contractor hones a "Built Green" message into one of beauty and durability. We fold that story into a scalable, 3-dimensional interactive gallery, closed with a finishing nail.


Green Marketing for a Red Ink Economy
  • Client:

    Thomas Jacobson Construction
  • Audience:

    Homeowners, Architects, Designers
  • Mediums:

    Presentations, Website, Advertising, Direct Mail, Photography
Michael consistently delivers true 'creative;' working with us to discover solutions which surpass the challenge of the moment and transform our needs into lasting 'big picture' solutions.
Holly Morris, Thomas Jacobson Construction

TJC does their part to save and beautify our planet through sustainable construction — building with as little impact on the earth and surroundings as possible – with master craftsmanship found in the elegant homes of Volunteer Park or Hunts Point. They needed to package their message in a way to speak to multiple audiences.

  • They needed help in telling their story to multiple audiences with differing needs, showcasing the wide range of projects completed, and adhering to a system where new projects could be added and swapped out without disruption or requiring an overhaul to the system.

    We took cues from traditional design portfolios, where pages could be added or pulled from a binder based on the audience being presented to. Creating a standardized grid for displaying beauty shots allowed for quick assembly of newly photographed projects, and making sure we had bylines for the architects and designers meant they’d get the glory deserved and the caliber of that would rub off on TJC.

    Printing of these gallery pages are systemized and prepared for digital runs on heavy, quality stock — the client can then order a range or specific pages directly from our printers — and they drop into a customized letterpress box. The box is one of the most important components; we created a container requiring a bit of ceremony and presentation to open, and becomes a piece of collateral too precious to ignore or toss after viewing.

    Our subversive goal for this presentation system is to encourage sharing with others once it’s been viewed.

Gallery cards for the TJC presentation kit


With the 2009 dip in housing construction, TJC decided to sow seeds for new projects that would bloom once the economy rebounded. Targeting their first audience (architects and designers) we created a portfolio to serve as a general conversation starter, but one that could also reconfigure for meetings with people specifically interested in new construction, classic home restoration, green building, commercial or simple remodels.

TJC direct mailers from the trimmed out gallery cards in the box.


Price is a sensitive issue in a slow market (both from customer perception and actual cost to produce), so the ideal solution was to spend a little extra on the 'wrapper' and configure the interior for short-run digital printing on the heaviest card stock possible. Leftover space on the cards that would ordinarily be trimmed away was used to print targeted direct mail postcards, leaving less than 10% paper waste for all of the printing (a feat in green printing!).


The kit has been in use for over a decade and updated regularly to meet new capabilities, projects and audiences. It feels personal and tailored to each viewer, encourages deeper exploration into stories that accompany each project and offers ideas for what else can be done with talented builders.

The TJC card system has also informed the overall branding and design for the firm, carrying over to magazine ads and web work; clear signs the concept works.