Monday, May 10, 2010

Environmental sustainability : A Guide for Designers and Clients


Graphic Designers are behind a large amount of the world's paper marketing materials. We create brochures, business cards, and newspaper ads - we are the people formatting type daily in newspaper columns, sending flyers off to the printers, and typesetting books - and we also the ones responsible for designing packaging, creating POP and display materials... (et. al, et. al, et. al...) This list could go on forever.

We are behind almost all paper items in circulation.

If it has text on it, and it's meant to promote, educate, or explain - we've been there.
So where does that leave us as far as the environment goes ?
Well, pretty darn responsible.

*sigh* I know, I know, we can blame the client that ordered a billion useless flyers only to see them tossed in the garbage at the end of the day, right ?

Not really.

As the designers behind the paper, we should help curb our clients' over-ordering (and over-spending) habits if they include poorly targeted promotional materials that end up in the garbage at the end of the day. We can save reams and reams of paper this way.
At the end of the day... paper comes from trees, and when we cut trees we release C02 into the air.

Paper = trees. Cut trees = CO2

There are many things that we can do to minimize the use of paper in our studios, and conversely, to maximize each piece when we have to use it.

If you work in promotions, design, advertising, printing, or marketing, I welcome you to browse the pages and posts and join me on my journey as I learn about the best sustainable practices in 2010.

If you are a business owner, large or small, this blog is for you too ! You are ultimately responsible for ordering a plethora of printable materials. From corporate brochures, pamphlets, business cards, letterhead - to manuals, packaging, and gift certificates - you can make a huge difference in your overall carbon footprint if you choose to partake in sustainable business practices. There is a strange myth out there that environmentally friendly means more expensive, and I am here to explain why it's not. You can change the way you approach your marketing so that it costs you less money and saves the planet. Isn't that a worthwhile thing to investigate ?


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