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.

Bibliography:

http://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/cmp/shared/CMP%20and%20Sustainability_January%202013_.pdfhttp://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/cmp/shared/CMP%20and%20Sustainability_January%202013_.pdf

http://www.sonjameyer.com.au/

http://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-sales-and-online/business-sustainability/sustainability-in-graphic-and-web-design

https://www.ted.com/playlists/28/sustainability_by_design

http://www.capral.com.au/CW150-Curtain-Wall

http://inhabitat.com/design/

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Sustainable Graphic Design

As a graphic designer, it is important to make the right choices in your design and practice to help minimize the impact you and your clients have on the environment.

Some very simple adjustments in the beginnings of your design can make a big difference to the amount of toxins and waste that are created as a result of your project.
Luckily, at this point in time clean beats fancy in design. This a perfect time to incorporate sustainable practices because simplicity has made a comeback.

img_printer-for-green-projectSome small things you can do to make a big difference are as simple as reducing the amount of text in your project. This will save on ink and paper if it’s printed out.
On that note, reducing the amount of ink you use, as in using monochromatic palettes or a tone-on-tone colour scheme will use less ink than a multi colour image.
Also, try to keep the design simple, and small, this again will use less ink and paper.

Don’t just limit your eco-friendly conscience on greenprinteryour designs, also keep in mind your practice.
There’s allot more you can do than just recycling.
Choose a “green” printer. Whether you are printing yourself or using a printing company, it is easy to find sustainable tools as the industry shifts towards more green practices.
Find plant-based inks, like soy ink, that don’t contain the harsh metals and toxins as conventional inks. Again, try to print less. These days with mobile phones and tablets dominating modern life try to keep your designs in digital format as much as possible and only print if necessary.

ecological-business-cardsAlso, don’t forget that you are a designer, so think creatively!
In my research I found this fantastic idea by a Portuguese designer Fischer+Bus. Instead of printing business cards he created a business card stamp that you could stamp on any kind of material you wish to re purpose, brilliant!
How quirky and fun! I’d love to receive one of these cards made from the back of an old envelope or courier box, and I’m sure the hipsters in Melbourne or the nouveau hippies in Byron would love it too!

 

 

Small changes like these can have a big impact, to the environment as well as your costs, so think green and have fun with it!
 

http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2009/ecological-business-cards/
http://www.re-nourish.com/?l=tools_greenstudio
http://inhabitat.com/greening-graphic-design-a-step-by-step-guide/
https://99designs.com.au/blog/tips/a-beginners-guide-to-sustainable-graphic-design/
http://www.ethicsingraphicdesign.org/morality/sustainability/
http://www.greengraphicdesign.net/

 

Sustainable printing

A turn towards sustainability has become more and more common in todays environmentally conscious society, which has seen a shift in the practices of graphic designers all over the world. In and industry that draws on energy, water, paper, inks, solvents and packaging an emphasis has been put on designers to make a conscious decision to protect the environment from impacts directly associated with these materials and in the life cycle of there designs.

Printers and graphic designers have long been engaged in a love hate relationship but its been seen as an area that can, needs to be converted to a more sustainable practice. It maybe a surprise but some inks used in the printing process can contain toxic metals heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and barium, which can pose major health and environmental risks if they find their way into the natural environment. So its only natural we’ve seen a turn away from these inks used by many printers to a more environmentally friendly solutions such as switching to vegetable based ink and even inks such as soy inks can be used, however the soy ink has one disadvantage to other inks with its drying time considerably longer to its petroleum-based and other ink counterparts. This creates challenges for those printing in coated papers such as magazines, uncoated papers like newspapers aren’t as effected due to the fact the soy inks can dry via absorption or IR in-line heaters.

Earthgreetings.com.au is an Australian based online green printers directory set up to list those print companies that have made a sustainability a genuine priority across not just there printing process but there whole business practice making it easy for any graphic designer or individual to seek out a sustainable professional print business in their own area.

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http://www.earthgreetings.com.au/australian-green-printers-directory-i12/

http://www.printtogether.com.au/environment/vegetable-based-inks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_ink

http://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-sales-and-online/business-sustainability/sustainability-in-graphic-and-web-design

http://www.greenerprinter.com/grp/jsp/inks.jsp

http://inhabitat.com/greening-graphic-design-a-step-by-step-guide/

Post 10: Sustainability

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PLEASE WATCH DOCUMENTARY “FOOD = WASTE”  IT’S 50 MINUTES LONG. EITHER VIEW AS A GROUP OR INDIVIDUALLY HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=2XHGSKENR5W

Consider what you viewed and the below

ALONG WITH THE INCREASING CONCERN FOR WHAT THAT THEIR DESIGN IS PROMOTING, MANY DESIGNERS ALSO MAKE AN EFFORT TO USE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS METHODS IN THE PRODUCTION OF THEIR DESIGN. IN AN INDUSTRY THAT IS USED TO CONSUMING LARGE AMOUNTS OF MATERIAL, THERE ARE A VARIETY OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO DESIGNERS WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION PROCESSES. FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS TO CARBON OFFSETTING IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE FEASIBLE FOR DESIGNERS TO OFFER THEIR CLIENTS SERVICES AND SOLUTIONS THAT LEAVE LITTLE OR NO FOOTPRINT OF THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
  • Materials -using less material (lightweighting), fewer materials (making it easier to recycle) and if possible avoiding toxic substances and choosing renewable or recycled/recyclable.
  • Dematerialisation – could include some of the above, lightweighting for example, but also designing things to be multifunctional, or finding a different way to deliver the same benefit through a service or product-service combination, variously referred to as selling performance or results, or ‘product service systems’ (PSS).
  • Design for disassembly – making things easy to take apart so they can be repaired, serviced, upgraded, remanufactured, or recycled, such as through modular design, or smart materials which can self-disassemble when needed.
  • Energy – both in production (which would mean looking at the manufacturing process), and in use and disposal. This includes minimising energy use, moving to the use of renewable energy, and extracting energy from waste in some cases.
  • Life extension – keeping a product, or its parts or materials, in productive use for their optimal lifespan, so slowing or preventing the linear flow of materials from extraction and processing to disposal.
  • Transport – minimising it, that is. Sourcing a renewable, impeccably green material which you ship four times round the world may not be as sustainable as something a little less clean from down the road.

Nevertheless, a ‘green product’ could actually be unsustainable. Let’s imagine you make something that uses recyclable and renewable materials, but you use child labour so nobody wants to buy it, and it ends up being dumped anyway, driving you out of business. You would have thrown the environmental ball up in the air for a moment, but you’d have dropped the social and economic balls, with the environmental one following soon after.

Choose an example of best case practice refering the graphic design discipline which uses materials processes and/or services for design in a sustainable way. Make a post of 300 words with 6 links and 6 images.

http://www.designbynature.org/main.php
http://www.sustainablecommunication.org/
http://www.livingprinciples.org/
http://www.designcanchange.org/#/resources/design
http://www.aiga.org/video-HHH-2013-acaroglu