Sustainability in Design

Waste and pollution should scare us all; it is the barrel of the cannon our world is looking down. Sustainable design aims to prevent, or reduce, an impact on our world within design.

Although the prospect of living within a world over cumbered with waste is troubling, a lot of businesses don’t consider sustainability. In the documentary “Food = Waste” it is sited that the world of sustainable design is filled with “dreamers”. This is true to an extent, businesses can’t be expected to be as passionate as to spend what they consider a waste of money on something eco friendly. This is where the hard work comes in, where the designers’ must work out a way to make sustainable design the cheaper alternative.


For a real world example, the 2013 document “United Nations Capital Master Plan, Sustainable Design Initiatives” outlines all the ways in which their campus accomplishes sustainability in a cost effective nature. One of the key strategies in tackling energy efficiency is an improved building envelope, with a high performance double glazed curtain wall, which improves heating and cooling regulation within the building. This allows costs of air conditioning to be reduced, and the impact on the environment simultaneously.

Within design, sustainability can be achieved through a variety of measures. The Australian Graphic Design website, Sonja Meyer, is actively involved in achieving cost effective design within every aspect of promotion “All graphic design includes a sustainable graphic design strategy. This means that ecologically, socially and economically conscious options are put forth based on your project requirements and budget.” When creating a design the following should be considered: attempt to work with the client and determine the necessary aspects of the design, consider the message of the project, 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, when designing for print, avoid page bleeds if possible. Printing with bleed creates off cuts that need to go through a de-inking process during recycling, avoid creating a design that uses a lot of ink coverage and design in black and white when possible, and Consider using ‘low-ink’ fonts for large areas of body text. These considerations are both cost effective and waste reducing.

Sustainability requires hard work, and a lot of consideration. Not dreamers.




Alex De Large


Alex De Large is the anti-hero from the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, and the 1971 film of the same name. His white obtuse costume and single eye with mascara gives off an unusual sense of fashion, almost reminiscent of old styles, yet appearing to be from the future (which he is). Alex is a highly violent character, yet his inner dialogue and unique slang make him surprisingly charming. It is almost bizarre how his character manages to appeal to so many people; he is the embodiment of rebellion and juvenile anger. Even on the written page his character is endearing, with his perspective and friendly nature towards the reader, his transition to screen is equally so in approach.

Continue reading “Rascals”

Gary Baseman

What someone believes to be a good character is entirely unique to them.

The work of Gary Baseman has always spoken to me on some level, with its style and the physical characteristics of the characters themselves. As a child obsessed with the ‘Cranium’ board games, I found his characters to be an essential part of the experience; they evoked the feel of creative thinking. But now that I’m older, his work now speaks to me with a sense of nostalgia too, so it’ll be somewhat difficult to speak of him without some essence of bias.

One character of Baseman’s that I had come across recently, Toby (as seen above), I believe to be one of his strongest. Toby seemed to blend together the lighter characters I had grown up with of Baseman’s, with that of his darker pieces (which at first I was unsure if I liked). Toby is a kind of feline creature, with a goofy smile and elongated eyes bearing enlarged ellipse pupils; very hard not to love. He is also consistently drawn wearing read attire, which makes him stand out, also adding to his devilish attitude.


Toby represents the suppressed juvenile identity that lies beneath the adult psyche. Toby is the alter ego for Baseman to explore those transgressive concealed urges. This is effective as it allows the viewer to see a different side to the character, as an intimate depiction of drives. Wherever he is and whatever he’s doing there’s meaning behind it. He is also a very caring natured guy, who will “listen to your problems” and “embark on any journey with you”. By seeing the situations Toby has been illustrated amongst, I doubt he will judge you, no matter what problem you share with him.


 Baseman’s style also helps add a characteristic of softness to Toby’s personality. The cartoonish hand painted appearance gives him a sense of childishness, no matter what he’s doing (e.g. being eaten by a large girl). The thick outlines also allow the colours within to stand out, giving everything definition.


Toby resonates with me both as an exploration of the human mind, in physical features, and the manner/medium of which he’s illustrated.



Roman Klonek

“As an illustrator you need to understand the human body – but having looked at and understood nature, you must develop an ability to look away and capture the balance between what you’ve seen and what you imagine.”

   Quentin Blake


Illustration is a tool used to distill what may not even be visible. Yet when looked upon, an understanding is derived from the work. Exaggerations and bold colors are all features commonly found in illustration, and are of particular use when trying to hit the balance between a tangible image and the emotions the illustrator wishes to evoke.

Continue reading “Roman Klonek”

Laura Meseguer

Laura Meseguer works worldwide, with her projects focused predominantly on lettering and type. The outcomes of her works are based upon close collaboration with the client and the needs that must be met, in order to approach a design solution.


Meseguer’s designs range from whimsical to uniform, however, they’re all entertaining to view and skillfully composed. Despite how creative some of her lettering (E.g.  Guapa, and Magasim), they infrequently stray from readability, rarely disrupting the flow at which the words are read. Meseguer will regularly combine an existing style with minor alterations, or combine two existing typefaces that are present within the identity of the company (e.g. HET PAROOL, and Multi).


Meseguer’s letters capture a range of different moods; sets of typefaces extend from playful, to straight and strictly serious. Occasionally a typeface will covey multiple tones all within the same set, yet without being wild in its execution.

multi_system_2 PetitSesame_700px

When commissioned to work for IN TRANSITION’s new environmentally friendly material ‘grow’, they insisted that the design consists of non geometric shapes in order to portray an organic formation without any rigid/geometric shapes and textures. The result, as seen bellow, expresses that exact notion of an organic structure, with rounded edges and bold black lettering to enforce a statement of substance, also the notable resemblance of the ‘R’ to that of a sprout.


The love for her craft is readable in each letter she creates. This passion is reflected in her advice for new designers and illustrators that wish to produce work of a high quality “Always work on projects or side-projects that [make] you happy, because [it’s] not possible to understand graphic design, illustration or type design without passion.”