Design in an Eco-friendly Age
Adapting to Trends
Everything is changing in the world. There are more and more people looking for alternatives to traditional print marketing that is often expensive. Many times, you may find the quality to be poor and the cut lines just off enough that you know someone will notice eventually. Print media is a tough place to be in, especially with the current trend and push towards less paper on the streets and a general decline in necessity as we have shifted to a digital era. This not only effects the flyers, that keep getting made, business stationery, and packaging but also genuine works, such as books and posters, that truly inspire us.
And this is not limited to the advertising space where a great deal of print and digital media is consumed. We are talking about industries that have an element of design. Not only does the creative have to take into consideration how the design will be applied and what material is perfect for said application but how does that material biodegrade and what are the effects on the environment. As time has gone on more and more companies have started providing eco-friendly solutions for print media which uses soy-based ink on biodegradable paper or plastics. This has given companies better packaging options that allow their consumers to have a sustainable choice. Though spreading information on the correct manner to dispose of these items is still lacking.
Frankly, I see this as a positive step forward and looking more into renewable resources in order to achieve a sustainable future. These skills and ideas are not only practical in terms of environmental impact or food production, but they also have used within many industries and graphic design is no different. Yes, much of what a designer produces is already digital but what about the responsibility of what the design is used for and what that design is printed on? Sure, the client is the one who makes the decision ultimately, I think there is still space to provide alternative options or even just being open to speaking about it.
I have come across a variety of companies looking at alternative ways of using resources practically such as a hosting company in the UK that only uses servers powered by wind farms. Or stores that forgo any packaging to ask the customer to bring the container which saves not only on costs for the brands and stores but also the customer coming in to make a purchase. These kinds of changes create even more opportunities to be innovative and bring a little something to the party. Every little change makes a significant difference in the efforts towards sustainability, but it works so much better when we all take time to make changes in the way we behave as well as our expectations.
I suppose what I am trying to get through this that we are all in this world together and we can all live comfortably if we take the time and put the effort in to make the changes that is required of us. Companies, especially large ones, make massive changes which take millions to implement so we as smaller agencies can take small steps such as sharing about the benefits of eco-friendly printing or limiting the design so that the print area is essentially decreased, we can make a larger impact.