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Green Design Resources

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Green Design Resources, Ideas & Websites

From time to time, I come across interesting websites, helping to spread the message that we all need to conserve. Some of these resources are wonderful for graphic designers who wish to design "Greener." Since we work with our clients to produce quite a lot of promotional materials, packaging, advertising, posters and more, we all need to do our part to institute eco-friendly design & printing techniques.

Great Books To Read:

Green Graphic Design - by Brian Dougherty with Celery Design Collaborative
For years I have recycled paper, specified FSC certified papers and not printed out documents I could easily save to my hard drive to review later. This book goes beyond all this and helped me understand that to be a green designer means starting the process backward. Thinking about the end user, the way the product gets shipped and the packaging. How to print safely and efficiently by talking to the printer and using up as much space on the paper as possible. Rethinking packaging if wasteful and using creative ideas in accomplishing the end result. The book is full of case studies demonstrating green design in practice. Brian also explains how by rethinking how you do something else more efficiently you can find the funds to support the slightly more expensive green printing so that it doesn't cost more in the end. I also learned so much more about the different printing presses, inks, papers and all the things a designer should know to be the best at their craft for their clients. This book is a must-read for all designers.

Here are a few resources I've discovered:

Inhabit - Greening Graphic Design - From their site: "The green path of the future involves getting intimate with your favorite printer." "...While we wish it were as simple as specifying ?recycled? paper and soy inks, we were surprised and delighted to learn that the greenest printers and print technology innovators have moved beyond false promises of simple cure-alls. Instead, each link in the supply chain is coming forward with their own sustainable solutions, from Processless Printing Plates to eliminating the use of VOCs in inks and coatings."

Design Can Change - (This site is Flash) From their site: "Design Can Change is simple.It works on the belief that our industry can make positive change by working together. Use this resource as a starting point to help bring our community together to encourage sustainable practices."

Ecofont - I first read about this new font in National Geographic, and thought this was a great idea, so I visited the website and downloaded the font. From their site: "Appealing ideas are often simple: how much of a letter can be removed while maintaining readability? After extensive testing with all kinds of shapes, the best results were achieved using small circles. After lots of late hours (and coffee) this resulted in a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Free to download, free to use. There is also a print solution for business environments: Ecofont Professional."

Design it Greener - From their site: "Designitgreener is an all-inclusive resource for the graphic, packaging, industrial, interior and architectural design industries. At designitgreener.com, we?re helping designers stay informed and educated on the latest and greatest in all realms of green design by providing news, tips and advice, a glossary of common green terms and a green design gallery where designers will find inspiration to help begin and continue to make green choices a part of their everyday design practices."

Green Press Initiative - From their site: "Green Press Initiative is committed to advancing sustainable patterns of production and consumption within the U.S. book and newspaper industries and within the paper industry at large. GPI also advances policy innovations related to paper and climate change and recycling and incubates pioneering new strategies for market transformation."

Re-Nourish - From their site:"...Re-nourish is here to help designers sort it all out. Sustainability, at its heart, is a framework for developing economic, social, and environmental systems that meet the needs of both current and future generations."

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Green, Eco-Friendly paper Manufacturers

Here's the latest on a few paper manufacturers that have some of the best post-consumer fiber, environmentally responsible products

Domtar - The Sustainable Paper Company and their campaign "PAPERbecause"
On their website they say they stand alongside customers who want to make a difference in the environment. They offer pulp and paper products and have a few sections with animation where you can learn about the life cycle of trees to paper, etc... and the different types and grades of paper, virgin vs. recycled.

Mohawk Paper Mills - 100% Windpower, wow! Their website says all of the electricity used in their manufacturing id offset by clean, renewable windpower. In 2007, Mohawk received the EPA's "Green Power Partner of the Year" award. Mohawk paper meets or exceeds the most rigorous environmental standards including GreenSeal, FSC and the Lacey Act.

Appleton Coated - Green Zone - (Wonderfully designed and informative website.) From their site: "A well-managed forest" means: ? Trees do not come from rain forests or ancient timbers ? Forestry practices do not contribute to habitat loss ? Indigenous people are not displaced as a result of forestry practices

Utopia Green FSC-Certification - Appleton Coated secured the Forest Stewardship Council certification in 2007. They were the first coated paper mill to secure this certification. Post-Consumer Recycled Fiber - From 10% to 30% PCW

Cougar (Making Paper Fun) - Domtar EarthChoice? EarthChoice family of products, FSC-certified and endorse by Rainforest Alliance. (Fun design and informative website)

Domtar marks milestone with sale of millionth ton of FSC-certified paper
MONTREAL, Sept 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Domtar Corporation (NYSE/TSX: UFS) announced today that it has marked a significant milestone with the sale of its millionth ton of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. This achievement is a direct result of the commitment Domtar made nearly a decade ago to pursue FSC certification for all of its forests and facilities.
Since the company's first FSC-certified ton was manufactured in 2002, Domtar's offering has evolved from one product to a full line of environmentally and socially responsible papers, known collectively as Domtar EarthChoice(R). Today, the EarthChoice family includes a wide range of products for a variety of end uses, including copying, printing, mailing, publishing and more.

From PRNewwire-FirstCall via COMTEX: Domtar marks milestone with sale of millionth ton of FSC-certified paper MONTREAL, Sept 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Domtar Corporation (NYSE/TSX: UFS) announced today that it has marked a significant milestone with the sale of its millionth ton of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. This achievement is a direct result of the commitment Domtar made nearly a decade ago to pursue FSC certification for all of its forests and facilities..." From their website: "Certifications and Collaborations" Sharing the responsibility "Domtar is committed to meeting the highest standards for forest, environmental and quality management. After all, in order to make our pulp and paper products, we rely on the forest. So it?s easy to recognize the importance of managing these precious resources ? and protecting the environment..."

Cascades - Green By Nature TM (Visit their informative website and read/download their report) Here are some details from their 2008 Report on Sustainable Development: ? During 2008, Cascades used 2.2 million short tons of recycled fibres. ? The company is the 1st paper collector in Canada. ? These recycled fibres make up 73% of the raw material used to manufacture our products.

Finch - (Finchpaper.com) - They have earned the responsible forestry certification of both the world's most respected third-party certification groups?FSC and SFI Two of their papers and there are many more which can be seen on this page of their site. Finch Premium Blend - 30% post-consumer recycled fiber Finch Casa Opaque - 30% post-consumer recycled paper

Wausau Paper - wausaupaper.com (Read about these papers in their Consumer Paper & Products section) Exact Eco 100 - Copier, Inkjet & Laser paper - Environmentally responsible paper, made with 100% recycled post-consumer fiber. Acid-free, lignin-free. From their site: In paper products using the Forest Stewardship Council certified label; Wausau Paper Corp. is committed to implement its best purchasing efforts to avoid trading and sourcing wood or wood fiber from: ? Illegally harvested wood. ? Wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. ? Wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities. ? Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use. ? Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.

Green Press Initiative is committed to advancing sustainable patterns of production and consumption within the U.S. book and newspaper industries and within the paper industry at large. GPI also advances policy innovations related to paper and climate change and recycling and incubates pioneering new strategies for market transformation.

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Green Design, Printing and Vegetable Inks

New "Green Graphic Design" book A new book has come out that Ive just purchased! (amazon link) Green Graphic Design by Brian Dougherty and Celery Design Collaborative. "This book begins by asking designers to look at the end result of their work - what will happen to it after it's been used? It then challenges designers to "design backwards", a process similar in concept to backcasting. In this case, designers would begin by considering where the piece will end up, what the user experience will be, how it will be distributed (including delivery and warehousing) and what the production process will be (including printing and bindery)."

Green printing It's important to recycle. As designers for our clients, we need to help them make the right decisions about what needs to be printed, the purpose, and judge the right quantity for less waste. We can also think of creative ways to reuse a piece. A few of my theatrical clients ask the audience to leave the programs on their seats after a show if they don't need them, that way they can reuse them. I see a reduction this year in print promotional products, because client's budgets have been cut. There is a beneficial side to this in that it's saving trees and producing less waste. However, they still need to promote, so there is an increase in e-mail campaigns.

What are vegetable and soy inks? I found this very helpful site, GreenPrinter.com, and they explain about the different types of ink: "Soy and other vegetable-based inks are less harmful to the environment than their petroleum-based counterparts. Soy and vegetable products are used in ink for their oils, which act as the vehicle for the ink pigments. There are several types of vegetable-based printing inks, including linseed (Flax), tung (Chinawood), castor, canola, and safflower. Soy is popular because it is a very stable material that exhibits excellent "wetting" properties which enhance its ability to carry solid pigments. Most manufacturers of soy and vegetable based inks today actually "blend" ingredients, in order to take advantage of the unique characteristics of each oil. Some portion of raw materials are emitted into the atmosphere during both the manufacture and printing of ink. The heightened environmental consciousness of recent years has resulted in a campaign to reduce VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) in inks."