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Joining the BandWagon

Sustainable Design


Some time ago we made the decision to begin the journey of “greenify-ing” our design practice. Obviously we’re by no means trendsetters where this is concerned, (not only are there lots of other studios doing much more on the sus-design front, but conferences, groups and resources to forward the cause) but we’d like to think that there’s no time like the present to start trying to make a difference.

We’ll highlight more of the resources and information that we find as time goes on but this posts focus is a Master’s thesis study by Rebecca Green on “What can be done to promote Sustainable Design in Brisbane Australia.” Although the study is geographically focussed in Australia the insights are applicable to any market. I know there’ll be something of use for designers and non-designers alike in there (even if it’s just a great history lesson) and some inspiration to do your little part to forward the cause of Sustainable Design.

For our part we’ve started promoting recycled paper to our clients…


…in addition to using a printer that only uses soy-based inks. We even used tree-free Yupo paper for our own business cards and included some pertinent propaganda on the backs to help spread the knowledge…


On the backs of each of our cards we included some facts pertinent to our 3 service offerings: print, web & broadcast



But enough about us, read the study and let us know what you think, and share some of the changes you’ve been making to go green.

Some major observations:

– the main elements to the “issue” is awareness and actionable ideas

– More needs to be done in the form of education: clients, designers and student designers

– Designers’ ability to creatively problem-solve make us uniquely qualified to help with coming up with possible solutions to environmental and social sustainability issues. (i.e. dealing with the actionable ideas part.)

– Graphic designer’s skills in perception maniuplation makes us even more qualified in garnering attention to the challenges and motivaing at least an emotional response if not actual civic activity.(i.e. dealing with the awareness part)

And here are some other resources we found:

Andrew Davies

Drew's degrees in Illustration, 2D animation and Broadcast Design, and his volleyball skillz mean he can get your design done and play well with others at the same time. He’s the Creative Director at Paragon and will call you out if you start hanging out with shady-looking fonts and messing around with whacked-out color palettes.


8 thoughts on “Joining the BandWagon

  1. murmini says:

    Three cheers to Paragon for taking the lead on this! We can certainly introduce sustainable practices into any and all industries and truly make a difference at a local level. Bravo!

  2. Eric says:

    Very useful info. We are planning on doing a lot of the same things, including using printers with “certified green” standard practices.

  3. Good on ya’ Eric,
    I’ve started a list in our right column of green resources and will be adding to it as I find more so keep checking back.

  4. burton sauls says:

    Hi Andrew and all –
    I’m ordering new biz cards, can you recommend a place to order cards? Locally or online, I came back to this article but didn’t find a names dropped. Thanks, I’m trying to be good (it’s just before Christmas…)

  5. Hey Burton, good on ya’ for trying to be good.
    Right now I can only recommend Green Printer as a green online printer for business cards, but that’s only because I more familiar with them. Here’s their link –

    We’ve used Rapid Press (out of Florida) for more complex print jobs because they use soy inks and carry a lot of the PCW paper, and we can definitely vouch for their excellent print quality.

    If you Google “green printer” you get a bunch of other options for online printers that I’m sure are fine but I can’t vouch for them.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea which printers locally are trying to be “green.” If you find any let me know.

  6. Becky says:

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks so much for reading my research, and for applying some of the findings. Even just one studio like yours making a difference and spreading the word really justifies the research itself.

    No matter how small the change, it is still wonderful, inspiring change. Nice one.

    The proposed widget idea was actually produced (with much pain!) and can be downloaded for free here:

    I was asked for permission to run the survey in the US, and will be happy to send you their results if you are interested. I’m also looking at expanding this research into a doctorate, and looking at trying to effect a more widespread, societal change on this issue.

    Again, thanks so much for your interest and action in what I think is a really important issue.

    B Green
    (Shouldn’t we all *chuckle*)

  7. Hey Becky,
    no, no, thank YOU for all your hard work. We actually downloaded the widget, great job. I’m also taking a course on Sustainability at MCAD to improve our “green” knowledge.
    Definitely keep us in the loop with your findings for the US market and any other info you discover during your further studies.

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