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Best Practices for Sustainable Graphic Design

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As each day goes by, more and more people are thinking about their impact on the environment. However, not all industries can instantly stop, drop, and roll to put out their burning flames. Sustainability is a balancing act between society, the economy, and the environment. Remaining sustainable is no simple feat when you’re avidly drafting, creating, and printing new designs as a graphic designer, not to mention learning how to embrace fresh technologies and industry practices.

Sustainable design today is a growing aspect in the field, one that refers to the entire design process of integrating eco-friendly approaches and considering the utilization of natural resources as part of the design. Sustainable practices for graphic designers and their clients comprise the digital and print realm, but together have one goal: minimizing the impact on the environment but not on their target audiences. Let’s take a look at the best practices for sustainable graphic design today.

Be Innovative: Think Big Within a Framework

A focus on sustainability isn’t a fleeting interest of the current generation. Rather, this focus is a lifestyle and business change that is here to stay. You must learn to embrace innovation and make do with the best resources you have. Keep in mind that the industry taps out energy daily with the resources of paper, ink, materials, and the mere design itself. Now more than ever, consumers are increasingly expecting designers to address concerns of sustainability.

A lot of steps, processing, and hard work surely go into preparing your project for printing. What can you do to make a difference with your design choices? Can you be original and downsize the design? Optimize instead of oversize? Reduce the amount of white space? Reduce the bleed to lessen ink waste? Share energy consumption? The best practices for sustainable graphic design are already available with a small switch of mindset.

Ink and Printing: Choose Sources Wisely

Almost every company or business out there these days has utilized print-based graphic design. The exponential growth of the digital realm has made digital “in” and print “out,” but there is still an essential use for it in our society and marketplace. Print isn’t intrinsically dirty or morally wrong. Rather, we need to clean up the production process to provide cost-effective measures with modern environmental ethics.

Printing sparingly is key. When printing is a must, do it with sustainable materials, such as thinner, recycled paper, and veggie or soy-based inks. Work with clients and print companies alike for a choice of eco-friendly options. You can certainly deliver beautiful results and finished projects that are still eco-conscious in nature. These everyday choices can truly make a difference in the world of design and society as a whole.

Written by Logan Voss

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