• matildawilsondesign

Sustainability by Design

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Humans are naturally builders and creators – but how can we create thoughtfully and without waste?

'Green' marketing is a trend that many businesses have chosen to adopt, while for others it is symptomatic in the way they operate. The global strain on our planet coupled with a consumer desire to choose eco-friendlier options for healthier living, creates opportunities for genuine and thoughtful businesses to market themselves as environmentally conscious.

The reliance on natural resources such as energy, inks, solvents and packaging has had pivotal importance in terms of the functionality of the graphic design industry since its creation but a change is duly needed. Designers make decisions every day that commit their designs and the subsequent life cycle of such to potential environmental impacts. The size, colour, printing style and paper stock choices made by a designer will ultimately determine the size of their clients ecological footprint and by making informed decisions, clients and designers alike, can effectively reduce their environmental impact. In turn, resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions and a more efficient use of natural resources.

Sustainable design practices and solutions across multiple industries have undoubtedly soared in prevalence over the past 10+ years and the results are utterly beautiful. From the London Marathon offering edible seaweed drink capsules as alternative plastic bottles to ‘Capsula Mundi’ by Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. The pair has developed an eco-friendly sustainable design for the deceased; the incredible product includes an egg-shaped biodegradable burial pod that over times uses your matter to produce a tree above the site.

The opportunity for sustainable design is alive and well and I strongly believe that it is the duty of designers to involve sustainable practices into the day to day. It is designers that can facilitate a shift of mindset in their clients by showing them the possibility of doing things differently and that aesthetic, ergonomic and sustainable design can run on an equilateral.

How? There are a number of ways you can design in a way that actively considers the environment and if adopted each are a contribution that previously may not have been considered and is therefore a positive impact.

Do more with less: be innovative in downsizing – go for originality rather than large-scale size or mass quantities.

Advertising: by optimising advertising to the right market precisely, you can potentially reduce the demand for paper to be produced rather than oversizing the job.

Paper and printing: Engage a printing company that’s certified or environmentally conscious. Look for craft paper stock options or; make it chlorine free, go for post-consumer recycled and request VOC-free inks.

Communicate: communicate the eco option and your decisions to your clients and encourage them to include the information on their product or service; if their businesses unique proposition includes an environmental attribute, the choice to go green within their collateral can increase consumer trust.

Invest in online marketing: Placing an online banner or investing solid time into your Instagram planning is a low-cost alternative to print advertising and direct mail. Its also one of the biggest free resources almost everyone has access too. Proper use of such can help you stand out against the masses and essentially is free advertising.

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