Branding + Advertising + Social Impact Design



120 years before the City’s trash record was broken after the Eagles’ Victory Parade, Philadelphia was known as one of America’s cleanest cities. That rapidly changed after the Industrial Revolution when the city was nicknamed the “Filthy Dirty,” leading to what is commonly referred to as “Philthadelphia.” 

In 2018 Philly was named Travel and Leisure’s 5th Dirtiest City in the US after 3 years of holding the #1 title. Is this really how Philadelphia wants to be seen? Philly is a contender for the upcoming World Cup Games and has recently hosted the Democratic National Convention in addition to a Papal Visit. As America’s Birthplace, and the First UNESCO World Heritage City in the US, Philadelphia can certainly do better.

Philly is a city of passion and perseverance that’s experiencing a transformation at its urban core.



#BanishPHLth is an anti-litter initiative based in Philadelphia. It aims to change the current narrative on civic pride by using bold, brash, “Philly Tawk,” and iconic cultural references to stress the importance of personal responsibility.

Designed to be run by the Philadelphia Streets Department, #BanishPHLth aims to deliver 5,000 branded trash bags to homes in 10 neighborhoods with hopes that they will inspire Philadelphians to help keep their streets clean. Each bag is designed to hang on residential door knobs with a magnetic brochure containing information about how to further get involved with the program. 



Visual Research

Mood Boards + Color Studies + Industry Comparisons

The following features help reflect meaning and define #BanishPHLth’s visual language:

- Bold, brash typographic messages alluding to the City’s historic, athletic, and political culture
- Eye catching color palette pulling from Philly’s historic roots while adding fun, contemporary tones
- Large scale to usher a sense of urgency
- Varied and dynamic typographic layouts



Related news articles, blogs, historic archives, resident interviews, and trending social media were carefully examined. This helped us pinpoint reoccurring themes and whether they were addressed by existing clean-up efforts, or not. This allowed us to establish differentiators, and ensure our message held unique resonance.

Content Development

The content for #BanishPHLth was directly inspired by Philly’s unique cultural heritage and linguistic quirks. Short form copywriting took many iterations before arriving at the final designs.



Supporters can subscribe to the effort’s Bag Program, and/or become a Trash Jawn who works with their neighbors to schedule rotational cleanups on the #BanishPHLth app. Trash Jawns receive a free introductory kit including the following:

Included in the kit:

- 1 roll of 45 branded trash bags (choice of Classic Jawn or Philly Fandom)
- Trash Grabber
- Tee Shirt
- 10 magnetic doorknob hangers to share with friends and family


Supporters may choose from 8 designs including 5 classic designs and 3 fan editions celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.




It all began while walking on a beautiful summer day in my neighborhood of Spring Garden. A breeze came, a pedestrian littered, and the very Wawa bag flew up to hit me in the face. I was no stranger to “Filthadelphia” before that incident, but it was the nail in the coffin that solidified the idea for my final thesis.



Additional Credits:

Kelly Holohan

Graduate Thesis at Tyler School of Art