Effective Sustainability in graphic design is becoming easier ti achieve with a more and more online world. now days most companies rely heavely on there online presance as different to their real world presance such as bill bords flyers and magazine adverts, altho there is still a time and place for these things the more forward thinking companies have inveted a lot to move away from these more traditional methods. This forward thinking has allowed graphic designers to become more environmentaly minded with out having to change the way they do things but there are still ways to improve. for example,

when printing enure you use recycled paper that has been made without any chemicales such as clorine and acid. these chemicals can leach into the paper and then be released into the environment when the paper gets wet or while it is breaking down in land fill.

Use thinner paper. By using thinner paper you will reduce the ammount of waste produced by your company there for making it more stainable, it is also a good idea to keep scrap paper for test copies or innitial print outs instead of using fresh paper every time you print.


Sustainable Design

Sustainable practices for graphic designers include a wide range of problems and issues. When traditional print materials are made the toxicity of ink and paper and the sheer quantity of paper produced need to be considered.

To really determine the sustainability or carbon footprint of a product, one needs to follow it through its entire life cycle. Questions need to be raised about how much fuel is being used for shipping, what the final end product is, how long the life cycle is, and how long before the product ends up as waste.

In Green Graphic Design author Brian Dougherty asks graphic designers to start at the end of the process instead of the beginning. Imagine the best possible destiny for your design and visualize the process of every phase from the final destination of your product at the end of its life cycle back to the design studio. Consider everything from the time of its ultimate disposal to its conception including transportation, warehousing, production, and manufacturing that may prevent green solutions from being implemented.

Tips for sustainable web and graphic design 

There are many ways a graphic designer can reduce there eco footprint and consider the environment.


  • do more with less: be innovative in downsizing – go for originality rather than size, whether it is a retro self-folding envelope or itty-bitty business cards
  • rightsize it: by optimising rather than oversizing the job you reduce the demand for paper to be produced
  • fill the white up: by reducing the amount of white space in a document you can reduce the amount of paper needed to produce it
  • give it a second life: give your product a second chance at life so that it reduces the possibility of ending up in landfill

Sustainability Practices

  1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
    “the sustainability of economic growth”
    • avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
      “the pursuit of global environmental sustainability”



  • Paper and printing:
    • Make it chlorine free: Totally Chlorine Free bleaching (TCF) or Process Chlorine Free bleaching (PCF)
    •  Use recycled paper to try to pick paper with highest percentage of recycled content available that suits your business needs
    • make it thinner: does it have to be on thick heavy-duty card, or can you get away with a lower GSM and still deliver a quality product?
    • request VOC-free inks:
    • go digital and use an alternative to printing where possible as this will drastically reduce the environmental impacts of your product
    • ask your printer what they are doing to reduce their environmental impacts. A good printer should be reducing waste.
  • Customers:
    • Tell them to your clients and encourage them to include the information on their product
    • always offer your clients an option that has been designed to reduce impacts.
    • do more with less: be Smart in downsizing – go for originality more than size, be it an old school self folding envelope or business cards half the size
    • double check sizes of printing minimise excess waste
    • fill the white up: by reducing the amount of white space in a document you can reduce the amount of paper needed to produce it
    • recycle recycle recycle
    • don’t bleed to the edges: by simply leaving a white border around your design you can reduce ink waste and allow for more paper to be recycled.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Paper is the 4th largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and takes up 25% of our municipal landfills.  Our forests store 50% of the world’s terrestrial carbon, so in an age of global warming, mitigating carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is paramount.    It is for these reasons Fresh Press was started by Eric Benson & Stevel Kostel.

Fresh Press is an educational agri-fiber papermaking and design studio providing systemic design solutions to East Central Illinois.  Their goal is to develop markets for sustainable paper made from locally produced agri-fiber and indigenous plant material.    Their intent is to function as a model for regional sustainable paper materials that collaborates across multiple academic disciplines, reviving a local agrarian economy based on entrepreneurship and sustainable professional practice, while reducing the environmental impact of paper consumption at the sizable university, as well as surrounding urban and rural communities.

Fresh Press agri-fiber and agri-fiber waste paper lab is based on a regional and seasonal model that is similar to the model of a microbrewery. They use what is indigenous to the area in terms of prairie grasses and other native species (when dried) and take the farmers’ waste after harvest.   So far they have developed paper blends from corn, soy beans, rye, switchgrass as well as several other crops I’ve never he Currently their hand-made paper is used mainly for stationery, handbills and posters.

Fresh Press is really interested in changing the system of paper-making which is primarily based on chopping down trees and therefore a very environmentally unfriendly way of making paper.   They’re also looking at creating regional economies based on fibres so farmers can grow these crops, sell the food portion of the crop and also sell what would usually be considered as waste.   Using that existing stream of fibre to produce paper will be a lot more socially and environmentally friendly way of stewarding the land.

Sustainability In The Graphic Design Industry

Su Blackwell reuses books to create art that reflects her feelings towards the world, and she does this through intricate cutwork to bring her 3D illustrations to life. This irreversible and destructive process is a way to show how fragile our life, dreams and ambitions. Besides the fact that she uses these books to further covey her message, she is using these methods in a sustainable way, which helps the problem of deforestation and waste in printing.

Su Blackwell is one many designers who reuse elements in a sustainable way, Natasha Kerr is a designer who reuses old photos from her family album to create her designs. Natasha combines her old photos with vintage fabrics and trims to create recycled textile art. Natasha Ker has created her own distinctive brand of recycled textile art, which has had a major influence in London, and even took over an entire Victorian townhouse in Battersea In 1998.

Susan Stockwell doesn’t tend to stick to one medium or style; her work can range from tiny intricate studies to huge elaborate installations. Susan’s work explores the issues of trade, history, ecology, and mapping. Susan uses source materials that may have started in domestic or industrial settings but that are now common for everyone such as maps and computer parts. These items are then recycled in her artworks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.…4982.6070.0.6553.….0…1.1.64.img..0.0.0.dJVAZw8FeYA#imgrc=Sl8uIC2pbE8kmM:

Papercut – Canberra

Paper cut is a graphic design studio based in Canberra. The studio was born in 2007 by graphic designer Claire Connolly. The studio’s policy is to offer environmentally sustainable options for their clients and uphold their own commitment to sustainable design by making green choices within their business practice.


Papercut has created a scheme where their client’s work can be certified with a ‘paercut tick’ which is a logo that endorses their products to demonstrate that a sustainable approach has been considered in the design process.


Papercut have put in place the following procedures in order to reduce their environmental footprint:


  • No metallic inks, laminates or spot UV varnishes will be used, reducing harmful toxins.
  • Standard paper sizes will be used for all designs to minimize waste.
  • Recycled or FSC (forest stewardship council) paper will be used.
  • The lifecycle of the product will be considered plus to end use of the product could potentially be extended.
  • Vegetable based inks will be used rather then petroleum-based inks.
  • Water based varnishes will be used.
  • Rainwater tanks will supply water for water treatment processes.
  • Switched computer to plate technology will be implanted to eliminate ultra developer and finisher chemicals.
  • The website will be hosted y a provider who uses natural energy sources like solar or wind power or subscribes to sustainable business practices, optimizes serves for carbon neutral certification.


Along with these practices the studio also has their own in house practices:

  • Use green energy.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • All appliances, heaters and computers are turned off at night.
  • Only light rooms are in use.
  • All computers, printers and copiers enter standby mode after 20 minutes of inactivity.
  • They go ‘paperless’ as often as possible. We discourage hard copy mock-ups.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Geographic is an environmentally friendly studio that is located in Perth. Most of their works contain amazing digital and print visuals, graphics and design concepts that seem to set them a part from other organisations.

They have one simple rule: Great design doesn’t need to cost the earth.

The studio believes that by being environmentally friendly and sustainable is raises aspects of their business and enhances/compliments their brand image. Partially in the technology age we’re in, they try save you money while also promoting your business and be sustainable in the process.

Another goal of theirs is for their designs to inspire others to think about ways they can help of the environment and to get involved in simple projects. They not only to help their clients with their business, products or ideas but to also show people that anyone can be eco-friendly if they take the time.

Print and packaging design 

  • Print is on the decline but it still helps as a physical method of getting your brand out there to the people. They think of many inventive ways to minimise paper use wherever they possible can while also keeping the print design in great quality. The printers they use 100% post-consumer paper which can be finished off in a variety of ways. They also use environmentally friendly vegetable based inks.


  • They believe branding should represent your idea, product or company. It should connect people with how they feel, think and say about it and eventually gain that connection through a series of positive engagements and experiences.