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Sustainable: Green Graphic Design | Visual Strategy from Re:Vision
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Sustainable: Green Graphic Design

Sustainable. Green. Socially responsible.

With social responsibility now a key component of corporate values and strategy, its no wonder more and more brands are looking to go green. But many do not realize that their marketing and graphic design can play a major role in their efforts.

A natural place to look when considering green design is printing, which offers a lot of opportunity to take socially responsible action. First, choose a paper with a high percentage of post-consumer waste, processed chlorine free. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies papers, paper manufacturers, and printers. Using an FSC-certified paper entitles you to use the FSC-certification logo, which is a great way to inform readers of your environmentally-sound choice. And, of course, its an opportunity to let people know your brand is green.

Once you’ve selected your paper, its time to consider ink. Traditionally, petroleum-based inks were the norm, but these contain heavy metals that ended up in the soil and groundwater and volatile organic compounds that were released into the air. Today’s inks offer options for green printing. Use a vegetable-based or soy-based ink to lessen your environmental impact. UV inks are another reasonable choice, though they are not from renewable sources.

Of course, before beginning a print project, you might ask whether you can achieve your goals without printing. Utilizing online marketing mediums like the web or email to reduce paper use can have a positive impact on your bottom line as well as your green efforts.

But how do you make your website green? Start with your hosting company. There are tons of web hosts that are using sustainable energy sources and taking additional actions to be eco-friendly. We like Dreamhost, which buys Renewable Energy Certificates that ensures the power they use is generated in an eco-friendly manner.

And, if your site content will likely be printed be sure to design a print-friendly version of your content to save paper, helping to make your site more green.

There are many different options for graphic designers to go green these days. When choosing a design team, make sure they understand and stay on top of green design techniques and let them know these issues are important to you.