Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

Portfolio and blog

Design Can Change

After overhearing a conversation in graphic design class the other day, I felt compelled to post about design sustainability, that is, the impact graphic design has on the environment.

At Design Can Change, the issue of global warming is addressed from a designer’s point of view. The info graphics on the Issue tab are particularly interesting. They really break down the issue and the possible effects.

Thinking about how your work and how the final production of that work impacts the earth’s well-being is certainly a matter of personal ethics. Some people won’t print unless it is on 100 percent recycled paper or cotton paper, or printed with water and soy-based inks. Others require large single orders so trucks won’t pollute the air by driving to a business multiple times in a week. Other designers just design for a client and that’s the end of their thought.

I think it’s important to think about your ethics as a designer, just as you would as a director for a PR company. Will you take a client that buys bottled water for its employees instead of installing a drinking fountain? Will you design for a company that sells hybrid vehicles? Your ethics will also determine who comes to you.

This is an interesting web site to look at going into our next project. It functions in a completely different way than other not-for-profit groups. It is obvious it was created by some top-notch designers.

My last say on this debate of design ethics and the earth is this: the simplest thing a designer can do for the environment is recycle paper. So at the very least, do that.

For those who have trash pick-up here in Syracuse, recyclables are picked up the same day and you can get bins for free. See this 2-page PDF file on what every Syracuse citizen should know.

Filed under: Design, Newhouse, News, Syracuse

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