Can rain barrels educate and empower students to be better equipped to handle climate change?

Can rain barrels educate and empower students to be better equipped to handle climate change?

Rainbarrel Paint Kit Packaging Design

We created the packaging design for an educational Rain Barrel Paint Kit. Distributed throughout K-12 schools in the greater New Orleans area, this boxed kit visually explains how Green Light’s rain barrels help households conserve water. Ultimately, the rain barrel teaches one how to manage stormwater while mitigating the effects of flooding and subsidence.

Good Deeds
  • Promotes a local non-profit
  • Provides free educational materials to schools
  • Community-building and volunteering city-wide
  • Combats climate change and uses Sustainable/Green certified Papers + Print Production
Rain Barrel Paint Kit main headline typography

How We Think > Creative Process

Research methods and design solutions can develop over weeks, months and even years. The goal here is to show a snippet of research, concept plus style, and a significant result.

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auditing, investigation and strategy
Discover Problems
Define Hypotheses
Identify Opportunities
Green Light New Orleans Rainbarrel recipients over the years photographed next to their installed barrel.
Concept, visualization, and design
Develop COncepts
Design Prototypes
Implement & observe

In partnership with The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, Green Light New Orleans packed seventy-five free paint kits and delivered them to fifty local schools. The goal of the project was twofold:

1. Students painted large fifty-gallon rain barrels — safely and socially distanced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Teachers received instructional resources on topics related to:

• The history of the domestic cistern, residential drinking water, the yellow fever pandemic, and The Great Flood of 1927

• Rainfall by the numbers and the effects of flooding and subsidence on homes and neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Conceptually speaking, the packaging design strived to surprise and delight. Upon further unpacking the box's contents, students could picture the data and storytelling within their city's stormwater management struggles and aspirations. Next steps? Students were encouraged to work as a team to paint their rain barrels.

Artist’s Guide, Teacher Resources and Promotional Postcards.
Artist’s Guide, Teacher Resources and Promotional Postcards.
Green Light New Orleans Rain Barrel Paint Kit box contains postcards, paint cans, artist guide and paint brushes.
How we solved the challenge visually

The box contents are practical — five mini-cans of outdoor paint, eight paintbrushes – while the packaging design is informative. Included inside the box are an instructional artist guide and four postcards with which students share their rain barrel painting experience with friends and family.

The packaging design of the paint kit is more than a pretty label. The outer sides and bottom wrap around the box with illustrations of stormwater management techniques. These include planting, replacing concrete with permeable pavers, and clearing yard waste from storm drains, to name a few examples. Once the students have painted their barrels, Green Light installs each barrel at a specific residence in the community.

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What Clients Say

Non-profit organizations often underestimate the importance of good design as a way to reach the community. For Green Light, it is crucial to be able to educate, instruct and engage.  In our long-term partnership with Quercus Design, Mary Louise Killen helped us grow our programs. The results are a product of passion and not just a marketing tool.
Andreas Hoffmann
Executive Director
Green Light New Orleans
Our Role + Scope
  • Strategy
  • Concept & Prototyping
  • Source materials, form and provide specifications
  • Coordinate estimations with vendors
  • Press checks and supervision of quality control across all materials
  • Diagramming and Mapping
  • Illustration
  • Infographics
  • Packaging design for box and paint can labels
  • Artist’s guide and Teacher materials
  • Postcards, stickers, and swag


Mac Paper

Neenah Environment® PC 100


Pel Hughes

Fantastic Pack

Vivid Ink

This Artist Guide paper is provided by Mac Papers. It is digitally printed on 100# Neenah Environment® PC 100 white paper by Pel Hughes in New Orleans, Louisiana. The paper is FSC® Certified, Green-e Certified, Green Seal™ Certified, and contains 100% Post-Consumer Fiber. This paper is manufactured entirely with certified renewable energy and processed using chlorine-free practices. These green certifications also support responsible well-managed forests and resources.


Green Light New Orleans

New Orleans, LA