GRAPHIC DESIGN Green Design means that students should design to create the greatest visual impact with the least environmental impact
The Society for Responsible Design is an Australian independant, not-for-profit, volunteer run organisation. The following information was found on their website. CLICK HERE
Communicating in print should not be at the expense of our environment, our climate and our long term future. Re-Thinking the Design-for-Print Process TEAMWORK Carefully select designers and printers ensuring they have genuine green credentials.
PROJECT TYPE To reach your target market review the best method for delivery, reach, cost and client understanding. Is print the best vehicle? For example, could a web-based file in a Portable Document Format (PDF) be an alternative? Is there a less resource-intensive way of delivering the message?
PROJECT SIZE The larger the project is in both the quantity and physical size, the more time and care should go into the production choices. For example, a larger print run of 50,000 annual reports is of significantly greater concern than a small quantity of, say, 200 business cards relating directly to the quantities of resources used. Naturally this has relevance to each jobs' environmental and carbon footprint.
PRINT RUN SIZE Consider the print run size. The same as last time? Does it need to be this large? Will savings in storage and lower startup costs for reprints allow a smaller just-in-time style print run to be more cost effective as well? Assess the quantity well to select closer to the quantity needed. Gone are the days of "it only costs a few cents to have thousands more" as we now need to account for the loss of greenhouse gas absorbing forests.
PHYSICAL SIZE Do we need a movie size poster or will a more modest size serve us well? Many properties should be considered here from printed sheet size, stock weight, print storage to mailing size. Multiple opportunities to save exist here also from lower energy to transport, less space to store and reduced weight of course means lower postage costs. Consider the weight of the 'stock'. If for short term use, maybe go lighter; if longevity is required, a heavier stock that's also ph balanced may be more appropriate. Consider the size of the sheet as another job may be planned alongside or a more efficient size may be selected.
PREPRESS Once it was all film and chemicals with all their associated toxic waste. Now there are several greener options with top results including Direct imaging (DI), Computer to plate (CtP) and Chemical free plates. All are variations of a digital image that is burned or exposed to the printing plate. Proofing and soft-proofing is a continuously improving area with many options with digital proofs are now the norm. Avoid film separations, chromalin proofs or plastic coated stock if at all possible.
PRINT PROCESS Numerous print styles exist from traditional lithography to waterless to web offset and direct imaging techniques. Several of these may be suitable, dependent on a number of factors noted above. Seek professional graphic assistance here and always remember to verify "Is this process the greenest choice?" There are multiple factors that could be considered here and asking questions is part of that process.
COLOUR SELECTION The less colours you use the better. However, if you're considering printing with three specials, it may be cleaner and cheaper to print four colour process due to its popularity as some press wash-ups may be avoided.
INK SELECTION Greener preference goes to Vegetable based ink (usually linseed or canola oil based), secondly to Soy inks (you may need to check the ingredients, as some labeled soy may be only part soy based with the bulk being petrochemical based) and thirdly traditional or conventional petrochemical based inks. Essentially, petrochemical based inks have a more chemically volatile make-up, require more toxic cleaning processes and are not made from renewable sources. For similar reasons, also avoid or limit the use of metallic and fluorescent inks.
PAPER (Stock) SELECTION If possible, as a first choice select an Uncoated stock. For all stocks generally, for better recyclability, the less coatings the better. The coatings of a stock are not readily recyclable so the more physical coating(s) the lesser the proportional yield of recycled fibre. more information