Keeping it Clean and Green

Sustainable Practises

Graphic designer have a need to print their work onto papers and so my first concern is about our use of paper and the consequences of that.

According to information supplied by Two Sides LTD Australia 2012.

Most papers are sourced from companies that are using forestry sourced timbers.

Paper production supports sustainable forest management.

Australia’s forestry plantations doubled in size from about one million hectares in 1994 to two million hectares in 2010.

The changing face of Australia’s forests Department of agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

They estimate that “The paper industry is a relatively small user of wood.

Of the wood extracted from the worlds forests, 53% issued for energy production, 28% is used by sawmill and only around 11% is used directly by the paper industry.

The other concern is inks that we use to print with, the storm has currently knocked out my internet access so research is at a standstill.

Interesting times I say…

I know from friends that have big concerns about inks that there is a company in Melbourne who uses the Soy based inks as the usual inks that we all use is not environmentally sustainable.

There is some great information and increased awareness around the materials we use and how to be mindful of what and how we create.

I found this link form vic busness rather interesting.

Reduce your environmental impacts of graphic design

The graphic design industry draws on energy, water, paper, inks, solvents and packaging. Designers make decisions that ‘lock-in’ potential environmental impacts associated with the life cycle of their designs. Eco design is a way of minimising the impacts of graphic design on the environment.

Design is a way of communicating ideas  solving problems design for change is a wonderful idea, when I began to think about this subject I went to the materials based enviro issues, paper, inks, and the impact they have, which is relavent but the other side of design is the clever way in which designers can carry forward an idea.

sustainable living
Typography Design
world in green

Ideas talked about in a visual way removes language barriers we can all read from pictures


Are we green yet




I believe that not only in the field of design but whatever path you choose in life it is a priority to maintain sustainability and stay conscience of what your actions may do or could be doing to the environment and your surroundings.


Many designers in our day and age are very thoughtful of the environment when designing nything and they practice a method which is called eco-design. When designing your products, considering the environmental impacts of the whole lifecycle of that product is known as eco-design. Eco-design not only improves the environmental outcomes it may also reduce your costs in the long term. But there are also many companies and designers that do not wish to use these methods, the design and creation of products can require the extraction of natural resources, manufacturing, transportation and waste disposal at the end of life. As a product goes through these stages, energy and water are used, and waste, pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are created.


The impacts vary depending on what process was used and for what they are creating most of the downfalls are with most things whilst moving earth such as construction, architecture and infrastructures such as the extraction of natural resources – whether through mining, harvesting or land clearing – generates carbon dioxide emissions, uses water and land, and produces waste products that have to be disposed of in the environment. Transforming materials into products often requires complex manufacturing systems and this means there is a need for resources such as energy, water and materials, which will all contribute to the product’s environmental impacts.  Generally, the main impacts of manufacturing are due to the energy used to create the product and the emissions e.g. air, water and waste generated during the process.


But as a Graphic designer or an artisst i like to think a lot of them are on the same page and are generally trying to recycle and re use a lot of their materials. Not only is it helping the environment but it also has a nice touch on art pieces. it adds a bit of abstract and creativity to their piece that they may be working on at the time.




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London-based animator and illustrator Andy wildly mixes hand-drawing, computer illustration and claymation. His diverse work is always infused with humour and hilarity. He also dabbles happily in the audio side of things, allowing him to make silly voices, bleeping sounds and ridiculously infectious ditties

Andy has a digital sketchbook brimming with ideas and passion for animation and the arts in general.  Andy works in many and any material he can get his hands on, delivering a highly energetic and imaginative outcome to all his projects.  This guy is always up to something.

A year ago, Andy Martin (also known as Handymartian) launched a year-long project to design new planets, one every month with every day a new alien. He gave each planet their own population. And each one was animated into a video. Twelve months, twelve planets, and the planetary system which was a year long project

Each planet has a name which is a subculture and that whole planet is created from this subculture.

Planet one called Tribal Discovery.

This planet has cute little tribal beings banging on drumbs and chanting tunes. he has used lot of colour but still gives the feel you are in outta space.

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Planet 2 – Endless repitition.

On this planet the animation is sharper and he only uses a few flat colours. It has a mundane feel the same as repetition gives.

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Planet 3 – All Calm

This planet has pretty colours and refreshing music and more happy and rounded shapes.

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Planet 4- Technological take over

This planet is very stark and every thing and every character looks techie and computer driven.

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Planet 5 -Under water evolution discovered

This planet works with aqua beings abut still gives an alien feel. Very clever.

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Planet 6 – Volitile

This planet he has older clay to make each being but still kept on the theme of Volitile with creating a war between his aliens.

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Planet 7 – Utopia disturbance

Planet 8 – Edible danger

Planet 9 – Reckless

Planet 10 – Undiscovered

Planet 11 – Avoid

Planet 12 Under Attack

Andy is very clever and divers each planet very different from the next.

He has lots of different interests. He tries to take each project separately and design something that suits what needs to be communicated. He thinks of his illustrations as character lead, with humour and a musical sensibility.


The Planets: Interview with Andy Martin



Design on the enviroment

If you thought you were saving forests and protecting the environment by going paperless…think again. The real dilemma you face is that you may be doing more to cause environmental degradation and deforestation by going paperless than you think, and making responsible choices requires informed decisions and rational tradeoffs.

The adoption of networked broadband digital media and “cloud-based” alternatives to print are driving record levels of energy consumption.

Chances are that the electricity flowing through your digital media devices and their servers is linked to mountaintop-removal coal.

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So what do we do? do we go back to paper to where every tree used and be replanted and paper recycled. or do we find a way to reduce the way we use energy by switching off computers when not using? inventing a new energy source instead of coal? Making computers and tech products out of materials that break down better and more environmental. These are just a few of the options.

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New technologies are looking for ways to produce clean coal. This means by capturing carbon before it is release into the atmosphere. But at this point clean coal does not exist.


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But as Graphic designers we can make a difference by using smaller print so It does not take up as bigger area so there fore not using as much paper for print. and recycling where eva possible like ink cartridges, using recycled paper and products. Making sure what eva print company you use ask them how they deal with their waste and what measures they take to reduce their air and water emissions. give your clients the eco-option: always offer your clients an option that has been designed to reduce impacts.


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At the moment Lane Beachly has teamed up with Planet Ark and is getting every one to recycle ink cartridges. i do believe this is a great step towards helping the environment when it comes to design.

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Sustainability in Design

Which is greener? A digital or printed work. I was of the understanding that digital was greener than paper, however after researching various sites, this supposition has been challenged.. According to an article in, the answer lies with who’s being asked; ‘Talk to a paper manufacturer and he will certainly support printed communications as much more sustainable. Ask the CEO of a web hosting company

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and she will make the case for digital work’.

In another article in, they also suggest print has been ‘cast in the role of a dark old devil in decline’ and ‘digital media has been cast as the bright young saviour on the rise’. They suggest print has incredible potential to be a far more sustainable medium than it is today and is already based on comparatively renewable materials.

As well as being the single largest stream of toxic waste created by man, accordingly to zdnet, making a computer typically requires mining and refining of minerals and metals as well as large scale use of plastics and hydrocarbon solvents. To function, electronic devices require a constant flow of electrons that come from the combustion of coal.

The list goes on and on… so, the question is what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint. The ultimate aim of practicing sustainable design would be to reduce waste, use as little resources as possible, and the resources that are used, should be unharmful to our environment and re-usable.

How do we turn over a new leaf and remodel our thinking to incorporate papers, inks, solvents, packaging, waste management or recycling in new and different ways?

Perhaps we can convert our electricity to green power, chose chlorine free paper sources from ethical companies and perhaps with effective communication and by exploring and offering eco-options we could contribute to a reducing environmental impacts. Australia using green printers