Green Graphic Design

Sustainability enables the continuity of life on Earth as we know it for future generations to enjoy.

“Tomorrow’s business must innovate or deteriorate. They must design or die! .”
(Janice Kirkpatrick, designer, at the launch of Design in Business Week, 1998)

Green Graphic Design, Sustainable Graphic Design or Eco Graphic Design is a form of design practice that follows a specific philosophy. As Governments and organisations are recognising the financial, social and environmental costs of not acting, Green Graphic Design is becoming more commercially accepted and sourced.

Green Graphic Design is as easy as allowing your designer to think outside the box and suggest more environmental solutions where possible.

Sonja Meyeram is an Australian graphic designer. Her work includes the development of visual identities, as well as creative graphic design for print, web and other digital products.

Sonja is an advocate for Green Graphic Design and lists her design considerations below;

Design Considerations:

Work with your designer during briefing stages to identify the most important to the least important items of the project so these can be accommodated with eco preferences where possible.
Consider the message of the project, is this project socially responsible? What is the best way to market your product or service with honesty and integrity?
Intend to have the piece designed for extended use or reuse wherever possible. For example, a promotional flyer designed in December could include a yearly fridge calendar on the back to be used all year-round. Be creative in your approach.
When designing for print, avoid page bleeds where possible. Printing with bleed creates offcuts that need to go through a de-inking process during recycling.
Avoid creating design that uses a lot of ink coverage and design in black and white when possible.
Consider using ‘low-ink’ fonts for large areas of body text. Here are some examples.

Print Considerations:

Consider the size of the project. Is it possible to reduce the amount of paper required to achieve the desired outcome, such as developing an A5 brochure instead of A4. Does the project have to be printed at all or are there other digital solutions?
Use only environmental printers for the printing of your design. Accredited printers have met targets for the reduction of their emissions.
Choose only FSC certified 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper and use vegetable based, low-VOC inks.
Avoid adding metallic inks and coatings such as varnishes and laminates to printed items as these are difficult to de-ink and recycle, and many of these special finishes are made up of toxins that are harmful to the environment.

Website Considerations:

Use a local green web host for your website such as Digital Pacific. A green web hosts will host your website on a server in a low energy environment.
If a web page is likely to be printed, ensure the design doesn’t have large areas of colour which will waste large amounts of ink during printing.

Going Green in Graphic Design

15 Paths to More Sustainable and More Green Graphic Design


Kareem Iliya

New-York based fashion designer Kareem Iliya originally from Beirut, is known for his beautiful silhouettes made of washed out tones and very simple shapes. The vibrant colours and combination of inks, pastels, textured papers and some computer manipulation give his illustrations a mystical mood.

Kareem initially studied fashion design at the University of Texas, USA then continued his studies at the Institute of Fashion Technology in New York.

He started his fashion career working with Georgio Armani and from 1992 also freelanced as an illustrator.

His work has been featured in W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker and many more. He has also illustrated several books including “Nouvelle Pornography” by Marie Nimier.

Hauntingly full of grace and mystery, Kareem’s illustrations ooze sensuality and portray women and the female form in a most sensitive way. The beauty and grace capture the viewer. Even though mostly he paints a solitary figure, the allure and romance of another is quite often implied.


Animated Rascals



Olaf the Snowman is a character from the 2013 animated film Frozen produced by Walt Disney.
Olaf is an extremely benevolent snowman-optimistic, outgoing and welcoming to all he meets. He likes warm hugs. Sprung from Elsa’s magical powers, Olaf is by far the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle. His innocence, outgoing personality and uncanny ability to disassemble himself at good and not-so-good times lead to some awkward, albeit laughable moments. Olaf, in his innocence is prone to making considerably sassy remarks that have a deeper meaning. He isn’t just funny, Olaf represents innocent love and the joy the sisters once had, he’s also got a “big role to play representing the innocent love in the scale of fear versus love”

Timon and Pumbaa


Timon and Pumbaa are an animated warthog and meerkat duo introduced in Disney’s 1994 animated film The Lion King.
Timon is a wise-cracking and self-absorbed meerkat who is known for claiming Pumbaa’s ideas as his own, while Pumbaa has flatulence issues. However, Pumbaa is also a fierce warrior, charging into battle like a battering ram, and taking great offense if anyone who’s not his friend calls him a pig, at which point he exclaims “They call me Mister pig!
Timon is also iconic for being best friends with Pumbaa, the warthog. The two are nearly inseparable, and are shown together constantly. Being extremely close, they share interests such as sleeping, fun-filled activities, and most of all, eating bugs, which they mostly refer to as grubs. The duo are also known to argue time and time again, mostly because of Timon’s selfishness and Pumbaa’s ultimate nobility causing their personalities to clash.



Genie is the tritagonist in Disney’s 1992 animated feature film, Aladdin. He is the all powerful spirit residing in a magical oil lamp hidden within the cave of wonders meant to only serve the ‘diamond in the rough’.
Full of life, and bursting with positive energy, the Genie is a happy-go-lucky character, with power and abilities primarily used to concoct humorous jokes for the amusement of both himself, and those around him.
Having spent a majority of his early life (over 10,000 years) trapped within a lamp, Genie tends to take advantage of his extremely rare moments of freedom by exploiting his incredible powers to entertain his new masters and acquaintances.  Genie comes off as a flamboyant showman when first introduced. In addition, when first greeted, the genie immediately becomes loyal to his new master, and continuously emphasizes the fact that his purpose is to magically enhance their lives by any means necessary (so long as it doesn’t interfere with the three rules of wishing).
Genie is one of the most powerful major character in the Disney universe shown so far.

Sue Doeksen

Sue Doeksen describes herself as a ‘visual adventurer’. When asked why, she says “I just like discovering things and playing with ideas. I never approach projects in one particular way.”

Sue’s distinctive work is striking for its bold use of colour, quirky characters and almost child-like interpretations. Her style translates effortlessly from character driven illustration to abstract compositions for poster design and artworks.

Sue studied Graphic Design and illustration at Utrecht School of the Arts. Sue said “I spend a lot of time at the library” choosing this over the internet for her ideas. This is reflected in her methods of cutting shapes of coloured card to create compositions.

Using predominently primary and secondary colours her characters pop from the page. Sue creates intricate worlds that are overpopulated with bright colors, friendly shapes and hidden jokes. While her media ranges from physical, digital, pencil-drawn, paper-cut, and animated, the resulting work often leaves the viewer slightly overwhelmed by the friendly chaos containing a multitude of visual adventures. Playful and cute yet simple characters often on a white background are happy and contagious in their messages. BIKE_BIRD






BoHDi  studied his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. His aerosol murals (he asked me not to call them graffiti) have gained him recognition particularly in Brisbane. He exhibits work all over Australia and sells his artworks privately also.

BoHDi’s street art journey began in two ways in early 2013. Firstly he started printing stickers and paste-ups and “distributing ” them. He says this is where his true street art label lies but most people have given him the label because he spray paints on walls. BoHDi doesn’t think he has earnt the label “Graffiti Artist” because there is a street hierarchy.  Secondly he met the Director, Peter Breen, of Jugglers Art Space in Fortitude Valley and an opportunity arose to show him a recent project- BoHDi was eager to take his work into the street art sector. Not long after the meeting, he created his first planned piece with IRONLAK in the alley. It was then that BoHDi realised this was his truest medium. Street art became his passion. His pure love-the spray can.

To his great success, BoHDi has marketed himself as a mural artist and has never hesitated to share his knowledge. He still works with Jugglers on many projects including reopening the Jugglers alleyway regularly for other artists to practice and learn, collaborate and vent in safety. His influences have been varied, from the dedication and proliferation of sticker artists such as Wanderlust and Betamax to the absolute meditation, speed and finesse of Graffiti artists Sofles and Lister (both Juggler’s born artists). BoHDi also loves the energy, recklessness and the ingenuity of the train yard writers.

In BoHDi’s words, “The street art scene is a very spiritual art scene. It looks loud and aggressive and that’s because it allows people to truly speak to the public and interact through their art without asking permission.” He continues, “Street art is all about space and time. The moment you spend is the only moment that exists and the artists have completely removed their sense of attachment (almost). After all there is no protecting what is public property, it’s not yours anymore-it’s everyone’s. It’s unfortunate that council believes they have the right to remove it without public consent. It’s as much about the process of creating as it is about the freedom to speak. It pre dates social media as a social commentary.”

Street art can change someone’s day, someone’s life. It breaks control and restrictions. It’s a real freedom of expression. The people who engage in these practices are willing to pay a heavy price for it. The penalties are large and on a par with Narcotics and Violence offences.

BoHDi’s pure love of the spray can is being noticed. His colourful and wild creations pop from the wall.  His work is undeniably and uniquely his and I think he can claim the title ‘Graffiti Artist’ in my book.



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