Responsible Graphic Design Publications

When we discussed packaging in a recent Q&A; we concentrated mainly on the materials, less on the creative design that can reduce environmental burdens associated with packaging. Innovative solutions do exist and many have been captured and showcased in some very useful publications for graphic designers and package designers. The Graphic Designer's Greenbook: A Handbook and Source Guide on Design and the Environment, by Anne Chick, got the ball rolling back in 1992. An excellent book, full of useful insights and information but sadly now out of print. But do try your luck in secondhand bookshops. Susan E. Selke's Packaging and the environment: alternatives, trends and solutions followed a couple of years later. Although not sighted by this writer, it has had good reviews and seems to be a definitive digest on the topic. The same year, the AIGA, in concert with John Ortbal, Mike Lange, and Michael S. Carroll, published a cute little book, densely packed with pertinent information. It was called ...... The Ecology of Design: The American Institute of Graphic Arts Handbook of Environmental Responsibility in Graphic Design. Around about this time I.D. Magazine got into the act with their booklet Design to Save the World by Ted Bishi & Suzette Sherman. This slim volume cut straight to chase and even contained a scarily long list of Pantone coloured inks that were worth avoiding, because of the toxins required to produce them. Then in 1997, came The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Design, by Poppy Evans, which unlike its all encompassing title, really just focussed on graphic design, including some enlightening case studies on packaging. Although often erroneously promoted as the first book on ecologically friendly graphic design, it is still in print and available, so at least inspiration can can be gleaned from its pages. Selke's book appears to be available through Amazon too. AIGA have since released a PDF booklet Print Design and Environmental Responsibility that you can download here. It explodes myths such as "There is limited market demand for environmentally responsible design and print production." The Society for Responsible Design (SRD) also have a simple web-based checklist of suggestions for graphic designers under the heading of Green Ink. No doubt there are other resources we've failed to mention. Feel free to pass on any tips. [by WM]

Related Content on