Green Team

A partnership between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Department of Agronomy & Horticulture and Lincoln ad agency Swanson Russell.

The project started with a team of creatives reaching out to the academic leaders at the University’s East Campus. We knew interesting things were happening within the walls of the Department of Agronomy & Horticulture in terms of sustainability, energy, biotech, and plant science. And we wanted to help tell that story to the rest of the campus, new students, and the community at large.

It didn’t take long to get a meeting on the books with the leaders of the Department. We spent a couple of weeks working on the presentation and came in with a direction we thought would make a lot of noise. Instead of all red all the time, we wanted to go green all the time. We had buy-in instantly but this approach would eventually land us in hot water with University Communications. We worked through some compromising solutions and were then off and running over the next couple of years telling the story of the Big Red’s Green Team.

The Big Red Green Team led to a growing awareness amongst high school and college students about the increasing opportunities for careers in a green economy. We created iconography and witty, little statements about each of the opportunities available to students; organic farming, renewable energy, plant science, and so on. There were posters, postcards, tradeshow materials, yard signs, and plenty of swag to handout on campus.

After the initial campaign launch, we created a Swanson Russell internship program to find student designers to help work on the project. The role was paid, which was great for the student. And for the agency it allowed us to work with young talent from the advertising and design programs at the University. The interns worked closely with the creative team on new campaigns which mostly manifested into posters and T-shirts. 


The University’s East Campus can sometimes feel like a small island, disconnected from the larger City Campus which is located close to Lincoln’s vibrant downtown. But UNL East is a wonderful place for students to find opportunities to play a leading role in our changing world. To find their path to no cubicles with careers where fresh air and fresh growth come with the territory. Go East, young student, to find your education for a greening world. 

Work done while at Swanson Russell.

2007–2009: Design Direction, Brand, Campaign, Print

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