Green Design

As graphic designers, we have a lot of power with paper. We can use this power for good by evaluating our usage and reducing waste and energy, but we also have the capability to produce a lot of what becomes waste. By picking up green habits and proposing them to clients, we could help reduce harm done to the earth. I’ve gathered a couple tips and examples to help fellow graphic designers, or anyone with a computer and printer for that matter, to become more green.

In the images above I have examples of graphic design gone green. The wedding invitations on the left are from Thryn at Wedlog. They are hand printed, tree-free and plantable invitations. Using seeds in your paper is a great way to give back to the earth. The cupcakes on the right, from Bella Cupcake Couture, have stylish cupcake wrappers using recycled paper and soy inks.

Some tips:

  1. Print double-sided. An easy solution to wasted paper. Or keep your scrap paper and use the other side for sketching out more ideas.
  2. Cut down on client mockups. Try to use pdfs for proofing as much as possible.
  3. Encourage clients to send out e-newsletters instead of printed ones. As well as e-blasts instead of direct mail pieces.
  4. Use post-consumer content paper when possible. It often ads an extra touch to your design as a bonus.
  5. Try to find a printer that uses soy or vegetable base inks. This can be hard to come by in smaller cities, but if it’s available try it out.
  6. When hosting websites use a sustainable website hosting service like They use wind power to generate their servers.

For more tips and information on green design visit They provide a project calculator that helps you find the right size and paper for your next project to help reduce cost and waste.

1 Comment

  1. alicia

    this makes me want a cupcake!

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