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In the column to your right are brief highlights of the proposed revisions to the FTC Green Guidelines governing eco-marketing. The public comment period on the regulations are now open. The basic principles are simple: keep your claims specific rather than general, and be sure they are relevant and can be supported by evidence. Mine may not be the most comprehensive explication, but it is certainly the briefest and there is value in that. If these matters are relevant to your clients, I suggest you find a lawyer to flesh out the details. If you get the same headache I did parsing the bureaucratic language, I suggest you find a doctor.

— Gordon Kaye


KFC Kickstarts Initiative Less Water
Levi’s is introducing a new line of jeans that are made using less water in the manufacturing process. While the average pair of jeans requires 11 gallons of water in the finishing process, the new Levi’s WaterLess collection reduces water consumption by at least a quarter and, in some products, by more than 90 percent. The solution included washing the jeans less and adding an ozone process that stone washes without water. Erik Joule is Senior Vice president of Merchandising and Design and Carl Chiara is Director of Brand Concepts at Levis. The line will reach stores in January.

New Design Metrics
Re-nourish, together with several partner organizations including the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, launches the Sustainable Design Auditing Project (SDAP), a multi-stakeholder working group tasked with developing open-source metrics for measuring the environmental, social and economic impacts of the graphic design supply chain. “It’s time for the graphic design industry to start walking the walk,” states the official announcement. The goal is a universal and transparent means of communicating impacts and outcomes for graphic design.


“What’s different about the Water<Less collection is that we’re still using the same materials and techniques to create finishes for our jeans but we’ve substantially reduced water’s role in the equation. Sometimes, the way to achieve a more sustainable design is to rethink a traditional process and find a way to do it better.”

— Carl Chiara, Director of Brand Concepts and Special Projects of the Levi’s brand.


Wild At Heart
Wild At Heart Leveraging the visual language of rebirth, growth and reproduction, Landor Associates has created a new identity that ties together the 95-year-old San Diego Zoo, its popular Safari Park, and the Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. The egg image connects the collective conservation and education advocacy efforts of the three entities, to help reach both consumers and donors. “Ambassadors For Wildlife” became the unifying brand idea which then spawned the slogan “Wild At Heart.” Each institution is differentiated through color, connecting the properties without having them overlap.

Google Underwater
Google is partnering with the Good Energies investment firm and Japanese trading company Marubeni, to develop an undersea transmission line that could carry as much as 6,000 megawatts of electricity — said to be equal to five nuclear reactors — from wind farms in the Atlantic to America’s northeast coast. The ultimate cost: $6 billon dollars. Cynics note that Google’s massive server facilities currently use enormous amounts of energy and that getting regulatory approval for that many offshore wind turbines will be difficult.


Sustainable packaging is special category in this year’s American Package Design Awards. You can now download an entry form for GDUSA’s fastest-growing national competition. It is presented by GDUSA and sponsored by Neenah Paper.


Tubeless Christine Mau, a lead inhouse designer at Kimberly-Clark, is helping push the consumer goods company into big green steps. The latest is the launch of a new tubeless toilet paper roll for the Scott Naturals Brand. The new product goes without the roll’s cardboard tube, making an automatic, tangible improvement to the overall waste pool. According to the company, U.S households use an estimated 17 billion tissue tubes a year, the equivalent of 160 million pounds of trash, or, about 250 Boeing 747s. Add to this the fact that the tubes are often overlooked in the recycling process and that makes for a lot of waste. The product is now being tested in the Northesast at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

Connecting The Earth
Panasonic’s current advertising campaign focuses on its ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility and to becoming a leader in environmental innovation. The Connecting with the Earth campaign features print and television ads highlighting Panasonic’s eco-initiatives to develop products that save, create, store, and manage energy as well as products that can be more easily and completely recycled. Panasonic’s Green Plan 2018 initiative hopes to make the consumer electronics company the greenest in its category.


Read about designers who are emerging greener and busier by changing their attitudes, and those of their clients, about green graphics.


Early Bird Special
Early Bird Special Compostmodern, the biennial interdisciplinary conference for designers created by the San Francisco Chapter of AIGA, takes place January 22-23. Early bird pricing holds until November 30. Rahul Raj, AIGA San Francisco Sustainability Chair, comments: “By connecting the dots between design practice and social responsibility, this event delivers attendees real-world examples of how to put ideas into practice. Our conference goal is to instigate action.” The Academy of Art University will host the event which includes Bruce Mau, Yves Behar, Scott Thomas and Jenifer Willig.

Vertical Video
Hansen Belyea created a short video that tells the story of Eco-Laboratory — a first-place winner of the national 2008 Natural Talent Competition. In Spring 2010, the project was included in the National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? exhibition at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.Seattle-based architecture firm Weber Thompson developed the EcoLab concept, with input from Dr. Dickson Despommier, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. Hansen Belyea created this five-minute video for the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition.


Third Planet Global Creative, based in Pittsburgh, has created the 3CO t-shirt to raise awareness of human impact on our fragile planet. A portion of the proceeds of each shirt sold will go to a variety of conservation and environmental charities. The shirts are organic and eco-friendly. Learn more at...


Saints and Sinners
Saints and Sinners The Terrachoice release of its annual “Sins of Greenwashing” study is exquisitely timed given the current focus on eco-marketing. The study is admirable assemblage of data about consumer products and their claims. The report in a nutshell: there is good news and bad news. The positive is that the number of products making green claims has increased more than 70 percent, indicating consumer interest is high and rising. The negative? According to Terrachoice analysts, 95 percent of the products still commit at least one greenwashing “sin,” 70 percent offer no proof of claims, and one-in-three include a package design element that falsely implies a seal of approval.

Green Recruiting
Do ‘green’ policies help companies attract and retain employees? Current HR research is mixed. One the one hand, studies by the likes of Adecco and find that many workers would be more inclined to work for a green company and want a job that allows them to have a positive impact on the environment. But... when asked to rank the elements they look for in a job, the employer’s degree of eco-friendliness was 18th out of 20 factors, behind the perennials like opportunity, money, responsibility and work/life balance.


GDUSA has teamed with Veer to offer creative professionals the most fun and interesting merchandise available. Current offerings include the following items and much more.


1. Helvetica Notebook
Choose sides in the design world’s love/hate relationship with Helvetica, or have it both ways. This two-sided 192-page notebook features a loving quote in Helvetica Std on one cover, then flips to reveal a darker intent. A center divider keeps the peace.

Comic Sans Love T-Shirt

2. Comic Sans Love T-Shirt
There’s no denying the pervasiveness of Comic Sans. How do you feel about it, deep down in your heart? Love it, love to hate it, or hate that you love it — this t-shirt conveys the mixed emotions on a comfy gray American Apparel T-shirt.


3. Kern Zip-Up
Next time you have to explain kerning to a layman, you’ll have a live demo just a zip away. The soft navy blue fleece on this fitted lightweight jogging jacket won’t pill.

Veer provides visual elements for use in professional creative work, such as graphic design, motion design, advertising and filmmaking. Products include stock photography, illustration, typefaces, and unique merchandise.


General Environmental Claims
There is a bright-line rule against general environmental claims. All claims must refer to a specific and limited benefit.

Certifications and Seals
Certifications and seals must clearly state whether created by the company itself or awarded by a third party. Seal must limit claims to specific substantiable benefits.

Free Of Claims
“Free-of” claims (e.g. PVC free) may be deceptive if another substance is just as risky or if the substance has never been associated with the product.

Recyclable Claims
General recyclable claims are allowed only when a substantial majority of consumers or communities have access to the appropriate recycling facilities.

Degradable Claims
General degradability claims for solid waste products and packages can only be made if the process takes one year or less after customary disposal.

Compostable Claims
A general compostable claim is allowed only if product or package will break down in approximately the same time as the materials with which it is composted.

Renewable Energy
With respect to “made with renewable energy” claims, companies should not make that general claim if the product was manufactured with energy produced using fossil fuels.

Renewable Materials
“Renewable materials” claims must be substantiated with information on what the material is, how it is sourced, why the material is renewable, and if it is made almost entirely of the renewable material.

Carbon Offsets
No specific or detailed guidance here. Just be truthful and be able to substantiate with competent and reliable scientificmevidence.

Sustainability Claims
No guidance on claims of sustainability. The FTC believes consumers do not normally perceive “sustainable” as an actual environmental claim.