Green Printing

Small, Cool Design = Eco Friendly Printing

Good things come in less packaging.

One of my favorite design websites (print design aside) is the well-nigh-on-sublime Apartment Therapy. Want to spend hours blissfully browsing well-organized homes? Then check it out, especially during the time of year when they host their Small Cool Contest. Small Cool awards prizes to the smallest, most well-put-together living spaces on the planet. And all the contestants are inspiring.

The thing about Small Cool is that these little homes aren't just well-organized, they're great for the environment. When it comes to reducing our ecological footprint, going small in just about every way possible is the coolness. This goes for living space, and it goes for printing and print design, as well.

An eco-friendly print campaign can be built around a concept as simple as just reducing the amount of material you use. This might involve advertising with postcards instead of posters, or posters instead of billboards. Or it might mean finding ways to cut down the amount of packaging on a product.

Conversely, a print campaign can opt to design miniature versions of a common print product.

Print companies like Moo are already making waves with their mini business card printing. Half or one-third sized business / calling cards aren't just natural stand-outs, they also lend themselves to unique design opportunities. For example, an entire offset sheet can be designed so that, once cut, each mini card is one-of-a-kind, with a distinct image on one side (perhaps part of a larger image), and a uniform (or varied) message on the other side.

Mini brochures, mini catalogues, and mini greeting cards are also gaining in popularity. And each small, cool design has the potential to reduce the paper consumption of a print campaign by as much as 75%. Not only that, but a small design in a jumbo-sized world carries surprising impact. Add the reduced expense of the project to that, and you've got three GREAT reasons to print mini.

As Apartment Therapy suggests, small IS cool. And more and more, it's becoming an essential part of a green printing philosophy.

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