Sustainability and Graphic Design
Apr 8, 2022
We're talking about sustainability in the graphic design sector in this article. Although it may not be the first occupation that comes to mind when considering environmental responsibility, there are many ways in which designers can contribute to a more sustainable world.
An increasing number of people around the world are calling on businesses to accept their environmental obligations. Enterprises can implement sustainable practises to mitigate their impact on the environment.
While technology is enabling us all to become paperless, there’s no denying that print still makes up a lot of the design industry’s output. Along with cutting down trees and using electricity, metal is also used in the production process. This can sometimes be overlooked.
Turning a Negative into a Positive
We think the attitude towards print could become a positive one. If we as designers, can create something that a recipient treasures and keep, rather than throw away, we can better justify printing.
Choose Sustainable Materials
Choice of Materials
It’s worth sourcing a sustainable paper manufacturer that is certified by a body such as the SFI, FSC or PEFC. Avoid using virgin materials, and use chlorine-free paper to reduce the harmful impact on the environment.
Re-use and Recycle
Whenever you use paper, ensure that as much as possible is recycled afterwards. Minimise the use of UV or foil coatings that might stop the finished product being recycled.
Minimise Energy Consumption
Graphic designers often use powerful, high-spec’ computers that use a lot of electricity. This is on top of the energy required for lighting and heating. You can offset this consumption by choosing energy-efficient options. Turn lights and equipment off when they are not being used and switch to a green energy supply.
Our Mac’s are positioned close to natural light to avoid reliance on electrical lighting and all screens are chosen for their low energy credentials.It’s a never-ending debate on whether or not becoming a digital nomad is worth the sacrifice.
Provide Eco-friendly Options
Sustainability Built in to Our Process
Offering eco-friendly options to your clients is a great way to help them to understand the invisible waste that each process entails. This approach also promotes your own green attitude.
Lead by Example
Send invoices by email instead of post, provide green hosting options for using servers that use renewable energy. Offer Skype video calls instead of face-to-face meetings that require travel and work from home when appropriate.
Choose Clients Wisely
Knowledge and Communication
By choosing to work with a business, you are endorsing them and their company, so it’s important to know who you’re dealing with, and whether you’re comfortable with what they do.
Who to Work With?
While it would be great to only work with non-profit organisations and charities, the majority of businesses need to make money. You don’t have to turn down corporate offers to ensure your principles are maintained. If you make a business look good, they will probably make more money. Sustainability can be a win-win.