Green Graphic Design

Green Graphic Design

Everybody’s going green. Some graphic designers are on the bandwagon, but some are still figuring it out. If you’re one of the latter, but you want to get on the bandwagon, it’s really quite simple.

The same principles we teach school children about the environment can be applied to any business. Start with the basics:

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

In any graphic design business, paper is usually the largest commodity that should be reduced, so that it doesn’t wind up in a landfill somewhere. Reduce the number of proofs you print, and teach yourself and your clients to make as many decisions as possible based on electronic images. When you show up to present a new design to a client, don’t print enough copies for everyone in the room. Print one large one to show on an easel, perhaps, and one for attendees to pass around the room. The decision maker can keep that one.

Reusing is where you can get creative. Work with your clients to create things their clients can reuse. Many products, for example, can be packaged in containers that are reusable. Aveda, for example, makes lipstick tubes that can be reused. Customers purchase just the lipstick insert when they run out. The Mary Kay company does the same with their pressed powder and cream foundations. You buy the compact only once and buy refills. These ideas are not only green ones, but they lower costs for the company and the consumer.

Recycling starts with buying products that can be recycled. This means incorporating recyclable paper, glass, and aluminum into your designs, prototypes and office supplies. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you must be diligent about making sure that you reduce the amount of trash your organization sends to the landfill by recycling everything possible. It will take some organization on your part, but once you’ve established a routine, it’s pretty simple.

So, if you’ve been putting off green design because you thought it would be too complicated for your business, you’ve hopefully seen now that it needn’t be complicated at all. Once you’ve mastered these basics, you’re sure to find lots of other ways to go green at work.

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