Graphics of Americas
Neenah (from December)


Publisher's Note
This Big Green Thing
Thinking Green
Quote Of The Month
More Thinking Green
Event Spotlight
More Thinking Green
Now On


yurich While we all try to figure out what the heck happened to Hopenhagen at Copenhagen, and how much Climategate set back the global environment movement, I am going to spend more time focusing on what individuals, individual companies and local groups are doing to contribute to environmental progress at the grass roots level. Maybe its the libertarian in me. In this regard, a small but nice story caught my eye. It turns out that Yurich Creative, a Cleveland OH-based graphic design and marketing communications firm, has set aside one day a week as a "meeting day" with clients to reduce the negative impact of driving. As first reported in Green America magazine — "Green Businesses Lead in Going Car-Lite" — Beth Yurich (illustrated here) explains that consolidating rather than scattering the meetings means that "this way we aren't driving all over for just one meeting, but arranging the day in a logical manner." The firm, she reports, has also eliminated most of the firm's air travel by using conference calls through technologies like Skype. Copenhagen it's not but, hey, that's the point.

— Gordon Kaye


jess In the December GDUSA Green Enewsletter, we published a message from graphic designer Mary Conrey Leavitt arguing that the greening of graphic design "has taken on a life of its own with little thought or knowledge... We need to stop blindly accepting what we are told." Today Jess Sand of Roughstock Studios and responds.

In response to the letter warning against "this big green thing," I'd like to respectfully encourage those designers arguing for us to "stop blindly accepting what we are told" to heed their own advice. A little research into sustainable design theory and practice reveals an underlying principle of questioning: you simply cannot achieve any level of sustainability without challenging common assumptions and design habits. The status quo is not sustainable (or, to avoid a buzzword, it's not maintainable), and any designer who is genuinely questioning anything has probably recognized this...

I definitely understand why some designers are still skeptical about "green design" — there's a lot of greenwashing (and bandwagon-jumpers) out there. But to claim there's "little thought or knowledge" behind the green design movement is absurd at best and insulting at worst. There are many hard-working designers, scientists, academics, and government agencies working to both qualify and quantify sustainable design theory and practice. It's easy to bash green design as merely the latest trend thanks to all the fluff out there, but that is mainly because the real research (based on real metrics and quantitative data) is fairly inaccessible unless you're an engineer or scientist — so the average designer isn't left with a lot of independently-vetted, understandable information. That's what inspired us to launch Re-nourish, anyway.

All industries are stratified, and the design industry's no different: there will always be simplistic practitioners who can't see beyond their own work, but there is also a growing contingent of forward-thinking designers who recognize they are an individual piece of a larger field of practice — one that is changing, for better or worse. And they know it makes sense to question our usual design habits, push for new solutions, and generally expand the industry's capabilities. That's what real green design is about, and I hope most designers can keep this in mind the next time they're inclined to dismiss an entire field of study based on some mainstream greenwash. Thanks again, GDUSA, for covering this stuff, and for providing a peek at both sides of the fence.

— Jess Sand, Roughstock Studios


Big Picture Book
book Sustainable Graphic Design: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Print Design. The book, by Wendy Jedlicka, is dubbed a "the graphic artist's guide to sustainable design." Its goal is to help designers view graphic design as a holistic process. It is a big picture approach to design seen from the viewpoints of the audience, the creative vendor, their suppliers, and society as a whole. Chapters are written by a wide range of sustainable design pioneers and practitioners — including graphic designers, creative managers, marketing consultants, environmentalists, researchers, and psychologists — providing critical information on materials and processes. Case studies illustrate and tie concepts together.

Packagers Choose Paper
Sustainability has been a primary consideration in the converting and packaging industry the last several years, and its influence continues to grow, according to a third annual study sponsored by Packaging Digest magazine and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Survey participants included consumer packaged goods companies, converters, machinery/material makers and retailers. Sustainability awareness reached new highs this year, with 41 percent of 1,000+ respondents saying they are "very familiar" with the issues of sustainability versus 21 percent two years ago. Other findings: 68 percent say the emphasis on sustainable packaging has increased in the last year; nearly nine in 10 say sustainable design has become a consideration in design decisions; and paper-based materials are rated "most environmental friendly" packaging form with biopolymers a distant second and glass, aluminum and metal containers negligible.

Turning Green Into Platinum
horton Robin Horton Design has won a Platinum Award from the Creativity Awards for its design of the blog Urban Gardens. The Platinum Award is the highest honor. The blog itself explores innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for the stylish urban garden. Robin Horton Design has been in business for more than 25 years experience; before that Horton was VP Manager of Design Services for the Burson-Marsteller public relations firm.

Delivering Green
The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled a slick new version of its green website. First launched in 2008, the upgraded designincludes a free cyber tour of the forest, a place for children to learn how to create green family trees, tips on making the home environment more renewable. Visitors can also get get free 100 percent recyclable Priority Mail and Express Mail packaging supplies delivered directly to home or office at no charge. "Friends of the environment will find smart tools on to measure their carbon emissions and create individual conservation plans," said Sam Pulcrano, Vice President of Sustainability. "The Skip the Trip calculator shows how to save money, fuel and energy by using our easy online services. It's another way the Postal Service helps customers make greener choices about their mail."

Olympic Sustainability Plan
london London 2012 has published its updated Sustainability Plan — 'Towards a One Planet 2012' — outlining plans to ensure the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will set standards in sustainability. The updated version contains the latest plans across London 2012's five themes: sustainability, climate change, waste, biodiversity, inclusion and healthy living. Two key areas addressed are carbon management and waste management. For the first time for a summer games, a study on the potential carbon footprint has been undertaken, from construction to staging to marketing. Olympic Committee Chairman Sebastian Coe comments, "Sustainability has underpinned this project from day one."


meyer "Perhaps the most important green trend to emerge in 2009 is consumer interest in 'value and values.' Due largely to the state of the economy, people are paying close attention to cost; the concept of value is top of mind for consumers everywhere. However, they are not willing to abandon sustainability simply to spend less money. Consumers want it all — proucts that deliver a sustainable benefit (such as fewer harmful chemicals), at fair prices, from companies that behave in an environmentally responsible way."

— Russ Meyer, Chief Strategy Officer, Landor Associates

Tree Free Sushi Trays
sushi Whole Foods Market sushi vendor, Genji Inc., has introduced a fiber-based, tree-free compostable sushi trays. The new compostable containers are made from bulrush (also known as cattails), a rapidly growing common marshland plant. Harvested by hand in southeastern China, the plant fibers are made into rolls of paper, which are then pulped. The pulp is then molded into sushi trays. After customers have used the trays, they can place them into compost bins at Whole Foods Markets or into commercial or home compost heaps, and they will compost within approximately 90 days. The maker of Genji's new trays is Be Green Packaging LLC, founded in 2007 and based out of Santa Barbara CA.

Starbucks At PaperCon
Attendees at PaperCon 2010 will hear first-hand about Starbucks Coffee Company's long-term commitment to environmental stewardship and its goal to develop a comprehensive recyclable cup solution. Jim Hanna, Starbucks Director of Environmental Impact, will kick off the conference in Atlanta with his keynote address: "It Takes a Village-Starbucks Quest for the Recyclable Cup." Hanna will provide an overview of efforts to significantly reduce its environmental footprint through energy and water conservation, recycling and green construction. He leads the company's initiatives to minimize its environmental impact through conservation, waste diversion, green building, international procurement, and collaboration with partner corporations and NGOs. Prior to Starbucks, he served as Director of Environmental Affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Yellowstone National Park.

Organic Logos
organic The Logo Design Works blog has identified its choice of the 10 most effective organic food logos on the market. In the first spot is Earthbound Farm Organic Food Logo Design whose message is that this is a normal, dependable farm with a green twist, which is exactly what the company aims to say." See and read about the other nine logo choices at...

Big Pharma Reports
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis and Abbott Laboratories led the "big pharma" sector for publicly reporting on environmental and social issues, a new analysis found. The Roberts Environmental Center (REC) at Claremont McKenna College studied the information offered on the websites of 26 of the largest pharmaceutical companies from around the world. Researchers found a slight connection between scores and annual revenue. In general, social reporting in this sector tends to be stronger than environmental reporting, the analysis found. One possible explanation is the fact that pharmaceutical companies are more likely to promote equity in medical care access and medicine than other values.

purity Purity Says Balance
Branding agency Blue Marlin has created a new brand expression for Balance Water, a spring water with Australian flower essences, with new packaging that really makes it stand out on shelf. Balance Water needed a new identity and packaging to help it make the leap from exclusive upscale brand to mainstream premium drink. The new design does just that, says Blue Marlin New York managing director Jean Koeppel. She says that "the packaging mirrors the purity of the product and communicates its unique benefits in a clear and uncomplicated way."


Miami Beach won't be the only hot venue in February. Graphics of the Americas 2010 has more educational sessions and special bonus opportunities than ever to help graphics professionals stay ahead of the industry curve at its 35th anniversary show February 25-27. World-renowned futurist and Principal Director of User Experience for Microsoft Surface, August de los Reyes, keynotes the show with a session entitled: The Future of Communication: Design and Delivery. Says George Ryan, GOA President: "The goal of our 35th anniversary show is to provide industry professionals an arena to not only view the latest technology from the 200+ exhibitors at the show this year, but also to have various opportunities to learn about the latest trends, tips and counsel for the decade ahead. From the Microsoft keynote address to over 70 educational sessions to sessions being offered in Spanish, we are very pleased to be satisfying the needs and wants of all niches in the market."


Immediate Access
neenah Neenah Paper has introduced its second application for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, the Neenah Eco-Calculator. The calculator allows designers to instantly calculate the environmental savings achieved by using paper made with postconsumer fiber as well from using paper made with 100 percent renewable energy. The Eco-Calculator can be downloaded by typing the key word "Neenah" in the App Store "Search" function on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Select "Eco-Calculator" and download free. "In today's world, everyone wants to have immediate access to information in order to make informed and smart decisions," says Meredith Grant, environmental marketing manager at Neenah Paper. "By having our Eco-Calculator available on the iPhone, customers can very quickly get answers to help meet their specific sustainability goals."

Art Of Sustainability Reporting
"The Art of Sustainability Reporting" from Wausau Paper provides companies with information, best practices and inspiration for producing effective corporate sustainability reports. The piece compiles the best data and research on sustainability reporting from leading authorities, including the Global Reporting Initiative, KPMG, FSC, Green Seal and the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network. Jeff Fox, director of marketing for Wausau Paper, said: "We have seen an increase in demand for our papers for sustainability reporting and we saw an opportunity to share some of the industry's best practices with others that are just starting their first venture into sustainability reports. At Wausau Paper, we believe it is our responsibility to help our customers produce not only beautiful, but effective and environmentally-conscious printed pieces."

Boola! Boola!
yale In a recent event at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Mohawk Fine Papers' CEO Thomas O'Connor, Jr. presented Jeffrey Gwork, Yale University's, Director of Yale Printing and Publishing Services (shown here), with the Mohawk Windpower Partnership Award. The award was given to Yale in recognition of President Richard Levin's commitment to the environment, as well as the University's standard of a minimum of 30% postconsumer fiber in its printed materials. Mohawk and Yale have a long partnership on a variety of projects dating back to the 1940s when Yale University Press helped design an archival paper for a series of books. That paper later became Mohawk Superfine.

The Seven Standards
Experts from 15 countries met in mid-December to begin developing standards to cover environmental issues related to packaging such as reuse, recycling and composting. About 70 global delegates met in Sweden for the first gathering for the SC4 Packaging and Environment committee. The group is part of the ISO Technical Committee 122. The gathering focused on seven standards covering source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, chemical recovery, composting and biodegrading. The seventh standard will lay out requirements for the use of the other six. The standards are expected to be finalized and in place by mid-2012. They will likely be built off of existing standards already in use in Europe and Asia. The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment has already thrown its support behind the initiative, stating that the standards "are urgently needed" to reduce "the environmental impact of packaging."


American Graphic Design Awards Gallery
2010 People To Watch Preview


1. Elephant for IFAW
Netherlands, Rapp Collins
2. Ice Cream for WWF
Belgium, VVL BBDO
3. Polar Bear for Ecoeduca
Chile, Draft FCB + IDB
4. Tarzan for WWF
Denmark, Uncle Grey
5. Alligator for FOPN
Brazil, By Almap BBDO
6. Glove for Surfrider Foundation
France, Y&R Paris
7. Lobster for WWF/Adena
Spain, Contrapunto
8. Under the Sea for Greenpeace
Switzerland, Lowe Zurich
9. Deer for WWF
Romania, Ogilvy & Mather Bucharest
10. Orang Utan for EDF
France, Publicis Conseil
11. Turtle for California Coastal CleanUp
U.S., Goodby, Silverstein

Thanks To
The Daily Green

Check out the images here