An industry leader since 1999, and a pioneer in Australia’s eco-graphic design business, for Victoria’s Viola Design sustainable design is at the heartbeat of their Melbourne Studio. Founder Anna Carlile is hugely passionate about educating fellow designers and commercial users about the need and tools required for environmentally sustainable design and is the brains behind Design By Nature – www.designbynature.org, an online resource that is based on extensive research, guiding designers through the key areas of consideration, providing practical tips and ideas for everyday use to better sustainable design practices. With projects that draw on a range of sustainable methods like green-sensitive stock and printing solutions, creative print-based design outcomes, designing for sustainability, Viola demonstrates that visually sophisticated graphic design doesn’t have to “cost the earth”.
Since founding Viola in 1999, Carlile and her fellow associates have developed a diverse eco-design portfolio with clients such as The Earthwatch Institute, Green Peace and the Environmental Protection Authority.
Every year Melbourne University produces more than $9 million of printed material. Like many environmentally conscious organisations, the university wanted to explore new ways of meeting their communication needs while also being sensitive to the environment. In 2008 Viola was approached to develop an internal environmental management manual, with the goal of helping the university adopt new practices that would reduce the environmental impact of its publications.
The result was a comprehensive guide that showcased the potential of eco-design as an environmental discipline. At first the standard twenty-four page printed brochure was considered but then quickly dismissed due to the waste that would be generated and also because, once printed, the information could become outdated. Due to the changing nature of the content, a website was approved as the most appropriate communications medium. To promote the use of the website by the university’s publication departments, Viola created an innovative, freestanding desktop piece, which required no binding and was both eye-catching and retainable. The printing was sponsored by a cleangreenprint.com initiative and was QIS014001 compliant. The production used low-toxic inks and Envirocare paper that was composed of 65% post-consumer and 35% pre-consumer recycled material. The end product was also produced by a mill, with EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) accreditation.