A guest post by Britt Brouse

Does green graphic design exist and does green graphic design really even matter? Yes and yes.

green designWhen people think of businesses going green, they might picture Fortune 500 companies installing wind farms and solar panels, and reducing their packing materials; however, there are many ways for graphic designers to be environmentally responsible. Even one graphic designer or small design firm can make a big difference.

Below are five examples of green graphic design initiatives to get started:

1. Streamline office space to be more energy efficient.

There are lighting choices, furniture and design choices and even windows, doors, insulation and heating and cooling systems that can all help your home office or commercial space be more green. Contact your local chamber of commerce, and find out if they have any information on becoming certified as a sustainable business. Some cities now have green chambers of commerce to address this growing need.

2. Create social changes

Get all your coworkers involved in becoming more environmentally aware. Purchase only environmentally friendly office products, make sure everyone is recycling and reducing wasted paper and materials. Encourage using green transportation such as bicycles, public transportation or carpooling to get to work.

3. Donate to green causes

Designers can purchase carbon offset credits to offset the impact made when traveling for business or to a conference. Start a donation matching program where you match employee donations to environmental charities. Don’t forget to talk about these initiatives either in an e-newsletter or on the “About Us” page of your website.

4. Work with green clients and organizations

Choose to work with clients who have environmental or corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in place. Designers can also help clients to build a greener brand and better communicate any CSR or environmental initiatives in their communication materials.

5. Make green production choices

Select environmentally friendly inks and use a printer who reduces wasted paper and employs the most environmentally friendly chemicals during the print process. Finally educate yourself about recycled and sustainable paper sources.

To find out more about green graphic design, check out these leading resources:

  • Green Graphic Design by Brian Dougherty is a book about how graphic designers can effect environmental change.
  • Society for Responsible Design is an organization website with many useful tips for green graphic design.
  • Design Change is a non profit organization with resources for designers to create environmentally positive changes in their work.
  • The Living Principles is a hub for green graphic design, with event listings, resources and a community forum.

Britt Brouse is a writer for PsPrint Blog. She has been writing about marketing, graphic design and printing for more than five years. In between writing deadlines, you can find her riding her bike around town, sipping an iced-coffee or hanging out on the front porch with her dog, Jackie. PsPrint is an online printing solutions company, which you can follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Image via Flickr user Sean McGrath