Sustainability

Design for
sustainability

Sustainable design is smart, creative and enduring. It inspires change and is gentle on people and the planet. It is economically sustainable. Clever design uses minimum resources for maximum exposure.

 

Sustainability is alive in each aspect of our design process – from concept ideation and choosing the medium for delivery to the colour palettes or paper choice. It is not an afterthought; rather, it is ingrained in our standard practice. We think about environmental impact early in the design stage; we even apply abstract measures, such as a design’s emotional durability. This is how we design for humans.

Our Methods

We integrate sustainable practices into every step of the design process, minimising environmental impact and promoting eco-friendly design solutions.

Material selection

We choose locally made sustainable and recycled materials for printing, packaging, and promotional materials. We opt for FSC-certified paper or other eco-friendly alternatives.

Printing techniques

We opt for eco-friendly printing methods, such as soy-based inks and waterless printing, to reduce harmful emissions. We encourage the use of print-on-demand services to eliminate excess printing and waste.

Lifecycle

We consider the environmental impact of a design throughout its entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. We encourage clients to invest in materials that are easily recyclable or biodegradable.

Design for longevity

We prioritise timeless design elements to ensure materials have a longer lifespan. We create designs that are adaptable and can be easily updated without a complete overhaul.

Red mountain with green trees

Sustainable design checklist

Sustainable design checklist

We understand how communication and digital design can harm the environment if we overlook certain aspects initially. Below is a checklist we follow to help you reduce your carbon footprint during the design process.

Sustainable communication design

1.

What’s the most effective way to get your message across? Do you truly need a publication or printed item to reach your audience, or can you deliver it digitally?

2.

Multi-purposing is a big bonus. Can one publication or printed item serve multiple purposes?

3.

Size does matter. Does the paper printout need to be that big?

4.

Discuss minimising paper wastage with the printer. What’s the best design format for that?

5.

A lesser number of ink colours also means less resources used.

6.

It’s a simple one, but choose recycled materials where possible.

7.

Find out whether the publication 
or printed item can be re-used and recycled.

8.

Tell your audience about how 
the work was produced in an environmentally sensitive way.

Sustainable paper

1.

Does it have a high post-consumer recycled content?

2.

Does it come from sustainably managed plantation timber? Look for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

3.

Is it free of chlorine-bleached fibres? Look for Process Chlorine Free (PCF), Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) or Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) certifications.

4.

Does it come from a paper mill that has an environmental management system certification? Look for ISO 14001 or EMAS.

5.

Is it made in Australia? We like to support local industry to reduce the environmental impact of transportation.

6.

Size does matter. Does the paper printout need to be that big?

Sustainable printing

1.

Ask the printer if they recycle and separate solid waste – paper off-cuts, cardboard, printing plates, ink containers, cleaning rags, palettes, screens and metals.Does the printer have an environmental management system in place? Look for the environmental certification ISO 14001.

2.

Does the printer have an environmental management system in place? Look for the environmental certification ISO 14001.

3.

What is the VOCs emission rating from the printing process? This includes inks, coatings, cleaning solutions, dampening solutions, glues. The less emissions, the better.

4.

Can we skip the hard-copy proofs and stick to digital proofs?

5.

Try to use vegetable inks on uncoated paper.

6.

Can we avoid metallic and fluorescent inks? These contain heavy metals.

7.

Choose aqueous varnish over UV coatings and plastic laminates.

Sustainable web design

1.

Have you chosen simple and minimalist designs, avoiding excessive graphics and animations?

2.

Have you converted inefficient GIFs, Flash, or other animated content to MPEG-4 or WebM videos?

3.

Consider using the image formats WebP or JPEG XR for better compression.

4.

Have you implemented lazy loading for images? Lazy loading can help speed up webpage load times.

5.

Research hosting providers that are prioritising renewable energy sources, they are called Green Hosts.

6.

Have you developed a responsive design that adapts to different devices, reducing the need for separate websites or apps?

7.

Consider asking the website developer to remove any unnecessary code and compress files.

8.

Are energy-conscious practices encouraged during development and testing?

9.

Regularly monitor the website’s environmental impact using tools and analytics. Track your website’s carbon footprint here.

10.

Have you educated the development team on the environmental impact of web development?

11.

Consider investing in carbon offset programmes to counteract website-related carbon emissions.