As a graphic designer for Rumpke, part of my job includes designing mailers, brochures and informational handouts about our services. As a graphic designer by trade, I’m focused on creating change and delivering a message to invoke action (easier said than done).
As Rumpke continues to enhance its recycling and sustainability efforts, I have reviewed the environmental impact of graphic design.
Brian Dougherty, author of Green Graphic Design, makes a powerful statement in his book: “Ineffective design is waste.”
Oh, how true that is. How often do you thoroughly read every piece of mail you receive? If you’re like me, the answer is a resounding “never.” I give each piece a single glance to determine if I should read it or toss it into my recycling cart.
Dougherty also states: “In order to design for change, we need to change the way we design.”
It’s time to start thinking about design in a different way. I need to focus on more than just creating a great design. I should ask myself, “What is the best possible outcome for this piece (in a physical sense), and how can I prepare it to be earth-friendly?” This includes carefully choosing the size, paper and inks for every printed piece. It also involves considering electronic options. Regardless, please recycle your junk mail.
There’s a lot to consider when trying to be a green graphic designer. Look for more tips and considerations in future blog posts on clean and green design.
About the author: Maria Perkins is a graphic designer for Rumpke.