Hello Lovely advice on greener design practices

I have recently painted my workspace using Little Greene paint, an eco friendly brand and like everyone should be, I’m very aware of climate change and the need to adopt good practices in my life and extend that to my business.

Print

Print is dead so someone once said but actually far from it. Business cards, newsletters, books, magazines and all manner of marketing material make up a large part of Hello Lovely’s creative. Many clients are trying to balance the most eco-friendly practices possible but it can be very hard to keep within costs. In the past it’s been as simple as recycled paper and soy inks but green printers and technology have moved beyond this to more sustainable solutions.

If you head over to Google and type in ‘eco printer’ you’ll end up with lots of local firms but it’s important to investigate beyond a buzzy bit of SEO. Any printer who wants to help the planet will have credentials on their site and if they don’t, I always want to know why and what they are. I’ll ask a range of questions and these include:

  • do they use alternative energy to run the press

  • do they out-source jobs and how do they deliver, are they investing in green transport

  • are their paper sources FSC or ISO 14000 certified

  • what’s the source chain for inks and paper

  • do they use process-less printing plates

  • what is the printing ink made from? Non-toxic, veg based, soy or linseed oil based?

  • are the inks and press washes brands with a low VOC content?

  • how do they dispose of waste material?

I can help on the design side too. Sending poorly set-up files to a printer isn’t just frustrating with the risk of shoddy results, it’s also very bad practice for our planet as it means wasted material, paper and energy. I’ll consider these points when I’m working with my clients:

  • I’ll discuss eco-friendly options so there’s a clear goal

  • I use PDF files and encourage clients to mark them up. If you need help with this, then I’m happy to offer free training, just ask

  • I’ll spend time on the pre-press so that the PDF files are technically correct every time

  • I’ll consider colours and suitability of the printer as it’s much better to use a press which can print all brand colours in one run

  • I’ll try to source a printer near your delivery point to reduce transport where possible

  • We’ll look at paper, does it need to be shipped from Canada?

  • I’ll advise on standard die cutting and paper sizes as these are less wasteful

  • I’ll also look at the greenest paper brands, I’m loving Kenaf and Hemp tree-free papers at the moment for their gorgeous textures.

Branding

Green branding should tell a socially conscious story. You may want to share sustainable green workflows, use of recycled content, fair trade suppliers or local production. Hello Lovely’s brand development built on your identity and translates that into planet friendly graphic design solutions.

This may include eco-friendly branding materials but ultimately I believe that less is more, streamlining materials is the first step in reducing waste. When we’re talking branding, let’s take the time to consider the lifecycle of a product or service. This allows me to deliver beautiful, green solutions that are in harmony with the planet and your marketing objectives whilst looking at using recycled and recyclable materials.

I love to read about plastic alternatives and innovative manufacturers who share my ecological ideals and care about the end of use, so products avoid the black bin whenever possible.

Websites

Your socially conscious story can also be extended to the online environment. Not only is a website the ultimate paperless, eco-friendly marketing tool, it also provides an opportunity to educate your audience about your credentials. Hello Lovely’s approach to web design results in fresh, interactive, and engaging websites that keep visitors coming back, building brand loyalty.

Books

Just like branding, less is more. Digital ebooks certainly help with reducing the impact on the planet but only if the device is green too. I’ve long stopped upgrading my Apple products to a new device each time they release something new over maintaining what I have. When I do need to change then I trade in so my old device benefits someone else or is recycled in a planet friendly way. So make sure your ebook is produced in formats that older devices can read.

Similar principles over less is more and eco printers, applies to printed books. It’s very tempting to print several thousand books and find that you don’t sell as many. I always advise clients to think carefully about how much time they can spent on marketing their book before placing a large print order or considering print on demand.

Spending time on marketing plans and utilising social media also reduces the need for lots of promotional products. Good design can also help to produce gorgeous products that have a visual and useful appeal. Items like book marks, cards and sample pages can be created in innovative designs to catch the eye.

I’m a designer with a passion for our planet

On a personal level, eco-friendly initiatives are close to my heart. The electric is from a green energy supplier. I strive to be a paperless office, reuse paper waste and use my knowledge of print and design to create promotional material from repurposed material.

I grow lots of bee-friendly plants, vegetables and have a locally grown veg box. I also try to shop local, avoid palm oil products and consult the Ethical Consumer. I cycle to most appointments and have adopted a Flight Free life. This means that I’ll only fly when I can’t find another way to travel and won’t be using budget airlines. I’ll be encouraging event organisers to stream online so that it’s better for our planet.

I am committed to integrating a green lifestyle in my work and applying it to all areas of marketing and design. I’ll make a big impact on design but I won’t be making an impact on the environment. I look forward to helping you with your green design needs, whatever your ambition, I promise to find a sustainable solution to deliver it.