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How to make the graphic design process more sustainable

How to make the graphic design process more sustainable

We know that we all must play our part in safeguarding our planet from the impact of climate change.

With greenhouse gases at a 4.5 million-year high, it is an all-encompassing threat that – if we continue to ignore it - will impact lives across the world.

But what has that got to do with graphic design?

As graphic designers, we make ideas real. We create and generate solutions through creativity that are put out into the world. And these designs can invoke a reaction. Reactions that can impact the planet.

That’s why we are part of the ‘Design Declares Movement’ – a campaign that has been launched to encourage graphic designers from across the fields of digital, industrial, communication and service to come together to declare a climate emergency.

By being part of this movement, we have begun introducing measures to our design process to try and actively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and those of our customers. This will ensure that marketing communications can be created without impacting the environment and hampering growth for future generations.

So how can you make the graphic design process sustainable?

Always start with the right brief

A brief – and a comprehensive one at that – is the starting point for every great design process. If you get it right from the start and with the right intentions, then you are going to reduce the need for corrections and revisions to get to the final product. Because the more time you spend designing, the more energy and electricity you are using, which has a carbon footprint.

Practice versatility

Not only is creating versatile designs necessary for brand consistency but it can also reduce the impact on the environment. That is because the more designs there are, the more time has been spent creating them. Designs that can work for more than one occasion and across multiple marketing channels are going to be more sustainable.

Design with eco-friendly printing in mind

With the amount of ‘green washing’ around, you might think that print is not ‘eco-friendly’. The fact is the print industry has a smaller impact on the environment than the ICT industry does. However, if you are using recycled or eco-friendly materials, it is worth bearing in mind what colours are going to work and what is not e.g. some colours might not print clearly on bamboo merchandise or seeded paper.

Optimise your designs for digital

Every file you store online – whether that is in the cloud or on a local hard drive – has a carbon footprint. The larger the file, the bigger its carbon footprint. And the longer it will take to load, impacting the overall customer experience. If your design files are too image heavy and creeping towards GB rather than MB and KB, your design files are going to have a bigger impact on the environment.

At Visual Print and Design, we understand the importance of great design and how it plays a key role in a brand’s success. That’s why we work with brands all across the UK combining strategy and sustainability with creativity to invoke a reaction through print and digital mediums.

To discuss your latest project, give us a call on 01522 300222 or get in touch today.

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