Reed and Smyth Return to Kickstarter with Timely EPA Standards Manual Reissue

“Before 1970, the United States was in a radically different place.Our environment, our cities, our people: abused, dirty, and sick after years of neglect. President Nixon decided to change that. In 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was enacted to protect the environment and the American people.  One of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) top priorities was consolidating numerous state offices––research activities, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement activities––to more efficiently carry out its goal of ‘working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.'”

But according to the dynamic graphic design duo and Kickstarter alums Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth,  there was one area in which the EPA—like many government agencies of the time—was terribly inefficient: their graphic design and communications department. Millions of dollars were being wasted annually due to non-standardized formats, inefficient processes, and almost everything being designed from scratch. Enter design firm Chermayeff & Geismar and its solution: 1977 US EPA Graphic Standards System.

From Reed and Smyth comes the timely reissue of 1977 US EPA Graphic Standards System now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.  Since going live yesterday, the campaign has raised nearly $60,000 toward their $158,000 goal from over 680 backers. The book can be purchased for $79 and shipped globally.  Shipping is planned for this October.

The former Pentagram designers have recently cofounded Order, a design office based in Brooklyn, NY. In the last two years Reed and Smyth set Kickstarter records for their New York City Transit Authority Standards Manual project and 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual.


  • The reissue will be produced using high quality scans of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and Steff Geissbuhler’s personal copies. Every page will be printed at the same size as the original and will use the same vibrant Pantone® inks, totaling 14 colors (10 Pantone® spot colors + CMYK).
  • The sheets will be printed on the right side of each spread, with the section dividers including the front and back sides—this is consistent with the original ring-binder format.
  • The reissue will also include 48 pages of photographs from the EPA-commissioned Documerica Project (1970-1977).
  • Foreword by Tom Geismar (Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv)
  • Essay by Christopher Bonanos (New York Magazine, Instant: The Story of Polaroid)
  • Every page of the original EPA Graphic Standards System
  • 48 pages of photographs from the EPA-commissioned Documerica Project
  • Each copy will be protected in a custom made slipcase, built from recycled board and blind embossed with the EPA logo. The interior of the slipcase will be lined with self-colored blue paper, mimicking the blue print on the cover of the manual.

For more Kickstarter campaign details, please click here. The 1977 US EPA Graphic Standards System closes on 26 May.


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