Achieving a Sustainable Graphic Design Process

Illustration by Rytis Jonikas via Dribbble

What Is a Graphic Design? Graphic design is a method that is used for communication. It is used to solve problems through the use of typography, illustrations, iconography, and photography. Designers use these methods to create interactive designs for providing better user experience.

Graphic Design Building Process

It involves the different stages of creating a design project and can be divided into four stages: defining, creating, feedback, and delivering a design. These four stages can be further divided into other sub-processes.

The definition phase consists of a brief that helps the designer learn more about the client’s demand, design research that involves web surfing and learning about the client’s competitors, and mood boarding, including sketching or mapping out your design on a piece of paper.

The creation phase consists of sketching out the design, designing a building from previously existing resources, and refining the design according to your client’s orders. The feedback phase consists of presenting your design, which can be done by explaining the design to your client, which helps convince your client that a client’s approval process consists of revision requests and feedback.

Lastly, the delivery phase involves delivering the final design to your client.

The term sustainable refers to a designing process with an environment-friendly approach and considers the natural environmental resources as part of the design. Graphic design companies are usually lacking in this prodigy.

Since graphic design resources are a key communicator and marketing tool for all sorts of industries, considerations for them fall under both traditional and digital domains. These domains include materials like paper, ink, and the design itself.

How to Achieve a Sustainable Graphic Design

A sustainable graphic design can be achieved by reconsidering the usage of the materials like paper, ink, and other materials used in creating a design, which can be done as follows:

Re-considering The Usage of Paper

Although the industry has shifted more towards digital media, the use of paper is still a vital part of the graphic designing process. An increase in the use of paper is having a negative impact on the environment as a paper is made from trees. Excessive use of paper can lead to excessive consumption of forests. Along with this, the paper industry also consumes fuel, electricity and produces unwanted waste, which can harm the environment.

Keeping all of the risks mentioned above in view, wise usage of the paper should be prioritized. The usage of recycled papers should be promoted to avoid the excessive consumption of forests. Also, such technology use should be promoted, which reduces the use of extra fuel and electricity in paper production as it will help reduce the impact they have on the environment.

Promoting Wise Usage of Printing Inks

The inks used in printing contain pollutants like Versatile Organic Compounds, VOCs. These versatile organic compounds play a part in increasing global warming and the climate changes occurring around us.

The emission of these compounds can end up in their mixing with the vehicle exhaust, this mixing up can lead to the formation of photochemical smog. These printing inks may also contain toxic chemicals like cadmium, barium, and lead, which can lead to numerous health problems if mixed in the air.

Hence, to avoid this, wise ink usage should be promoted to reduce waste production, and an experienced ink management application should be prioritized.

Other Risk Factors

Along with the risks of excessive use of ink and paper, a few other side factors are essential to consider when striving to achieve a sustainable graphic design process. A few of them emit radiation to air and water when printing, excessive power usage, and electricity sources. Considering these factors should be prioritized for achieving a reduction in environmental pollution and a sustainable graphic designing process.

Modification of Digital Designing Applications

The printing industry contributes to environmental pollution by producing and releasing harmful wastes in the environment with the excessive use of printing inks, papers, printers, and other factors.

The digital designing applications contribute to it again by the excessive use of electricity sources to operate them. Prioritization of lower use of electricity for the designing applications on web devices should be considered.

Hurdles on the Road to Achieving a Sustainable Graphic Design Process

Road to achieving sustainable graphic design process
Illustration by VectorMine via Dribbble

The key challenges to attaining sustainability in graphic design processes lie in many factors. These hurdles include a lack of sustainability education for new learners of graphic design. When not taught at the basic levels, it leads the designers to use the materials in an uncontrolled manner, disposing of the waste to the environment, leading to environmental pollution.

A lack of sustainability practice can lead to the uncontrolled disposal of waste in the environment by the industries and the excessive usage of natural resources in building the materials required, leading to the consumption of environmental resources and pollution in the environment.

Other factors that contribute as hurdles in the road to achieving a sustainable design process are a lack in the production of eco-papers and inks, which are environment friendly. Poor gatekeeping of the design and poor collaboration among the designers and low printing and weak design may lead to economic deficits.

It is vital to prioritize the minimization of these challenges by educating the designers, clients, and the production teams on sustainability. It is also recommended for the designers to observe professional ethics in their practices as well to promote sustainability.

Overcoming the Hurdles in Achieving a Sustainable Design Process

Overcoming the hurdles mentioned above is vital in achieving sustainability. This includes educating the graphic designers to use the materials for designing in a controlled manner, so the waste disposal rate is reduced to as minimum as possible.

The production team should be educated on environment-friendly disposal procedures, and controlled consumption of natural resources should be prioritized. The wise usage of designing materials such as carefully chosen ink colors and minimizing the number of inks used.

Also, post consumer recycled paper usage reduces forest consumption and reduces water usage in paper production. Using vegetable-based inks can lead to avoiding toxic chemical use when cleaning the printing press. Being innovative in downsizing the designs and optimizing them to reduce the paper demand can also help design sustainability.

Using up the paper correctly and reducing the white space, less usage of paper can be promoted. Using a paper that has been bleached using a chlorine-free bleaching process can also help promote sustainability in the graphic designing process.

What Will Be the Future of Graphic Designing Process?

Graphic design is a process that is vital for all sorts of businesses, as business cards, flyers, and other postcards are a necessity.

Along with this, it holds importance in the digital area as well. As most users do not settle for reading very long articles, a visual presentation of content using images, infographics, videos, and slideshows is a great way to keep the users’ attention.

Graphic designers may see an increase in the demand for visual content. Its future may elevate to new heights by fusion with augmented reality and leading to 3D printing. Technology will play a significant role in communication through design. Specialized technical methods will empower the designers to build a richer and more meaningful experience.

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