Green Printing

The Ecofont

The Ecofont

Impact on Green Printing It was released late in 2008, but I've been waiting for the verdict on the Ecofont for a while. Based on Vera Sans, the font was created by SPRANQ, a creative communications agency in the Netherlands. It was designed and billed as an eco-friendly font because it uses less ink. National Geographic just featured it in their latest issue, so does that mean the Ecofont is catching on? The Ecofont is full of holes, “like Dutch cheese,” and because of all these holes, claims to use up to 20% less ink. At a small font size, the holes are almost invisible, with the ink bleeding through to fill the holes. As the website says, “the results vary depending on the software and the quality of your screen.” So what do users and green print lovers have to say? The opinion shared by those from Treehugger to Lifehacker seems to be that it's a great idea. A […]

Small, Cool Design = Eco Friendly 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 […]

Biking Beyond Eco-Friendly Printing

Biking Beyond Eco-Friendly Printing

Bike-to-Work Week all year round! As a green printer, you're always stuck in a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, you're probably thinking about environmentally sound solutions more than the average business, and you're trying to green your processes all the time. On the other hand, you're a printer. You put ink on paper for a living. In short, your business is never going to be particularly great for the environment. And that's where environmental stewardship comes in. It's not just about “how can I make this ink-on-paper thing easier on the environment?” It's about finding ways to make every aspect of your life and business greener, in order to offset the burden your industry places on the earth's resources. Our head boss-guy, Columbus Woodruff, has just changed things around Hotcards in a way that's a perfect example of this. Columbus, who is an avid cyclist, added five new bikes to the lobby of the Hotcards office. Why? […]

Is the Print Industry Too Protective of its Secrets?

Is the Print Industry Too Protective of its Secrets?

And how, maybe, this recession could turn into a good thing… WhatTheyThink just held their Environmental Innovation Awards, in which printers could apply to be recognized for their eco-mindful changes and contributions. As a follow-up, this week GoingGreen is interviewing each of the winners. Although the focus is eco-friendly printing, what these folks have to say has applications throughout the printing and print design industry. But I'm not actually talking about green printing, per se. What struck me as I listened to these interviews is how interviewees across the board expressed a frustration at the lack of communication between members of our industry. To move forward in terms of green innovation, they said, we have to share ideas and communicate! Could it be?Are printers secretive? Ironic that one of the hubs of the communications industry could have that problem! But the more I think about it, the more I find it to be true. Throughout our history, most of us […]

The Politics of Choice in Information Publication, Online and in Print

The Politics of Choice in Information Publication, Online and in Print

Does free-flowing data come at a price? As you probably know by now, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer printed its last issue yesterday. After almost 150 years in print, the paper is now entirely online, and struggling for survival. For many people, the loss of our local newspapers is a natural progression, a sign of the times, and for environmentally conscious thinkers, it's a step in the right direction for the planet. Curbing our paper consumption is vital to the sustainability of human life in relation to the natural world. And after all, it's not as if we're losing our news with the closing of newspapers. In fact, we have more access to information than ever before, thanks to the bottomless wellspring of knowledge that is the enviro-friendly internet. Uh, wait. Who ever said anything about the internet being environmentally friendly? A recent article in the Times Online points out that every Google search we conduct, and every Tweet we post, carries […]

Wind Powered Printing

Wind Powered Printing

It's catching on. Thusfar in its short history, sustainable printing or green printing has been largely the territory of smaller, boutique printing houses. But all that is changing. It just goes to show the power of the little guy. What starts as a niche trend quickly becomes a standard of excellent demanded throughout the industry. Recently, Digital Nirvana posted a list of all the green printers out there run on 100% wind power in the U.S. Currently, the list stands at just thirteen. Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? But it's enough to grab the attention of industry giants. This week, Fujifilm inked a deal to develop a corporate wind farm in Tilburg, Netherlands. For all those not in the know, the Netherlands is one of the world's leaders in wind farming, and no, I'm not talking about windmills. In recent decades, the Dutch landscape has become dotted with massive, white wind turbines that can be seen from an […]

Hotcards Interviews Bacchus Press

Hotcards Interviews Bacchus Press

Green printers! One of the coolest things about being a green printer. is that there's a great sense of community. Sharing ideas, developing new technologies, and discussing how we can push our environmental commitments to the limit is all part of this printing community. This week, I had a chance to talk to the good folks over at Bacchus Press in San Francisco. Guy from Business Development told me all about what they're doing to help create a more sustainable printing industry: Anne: Do you get most of your business from the West Coast, or do you find customers from all over the U.S. coming to Bacchus for green printing? Guy: Though most of our customers are on the West Coast of the United States, about 25% of our digital printing jobs are done for customers from all over the country looking for Green Printing services at an affordable cost. Anne: One of the challenging things about green printing is […]

Greatest Green Printing Initiatives of 2008

Greatest Green Printing Initiatives of 2008

Guest post on What They Think – Going Green It's the time of year for looking back on what we've accomplished over the last twelve months, which is how I found myself writing a guest post for Going Green – a new section of printing heavyweight website, WhatTheyThink. If you're interested in reading about the leaps forward we've made in the green printing industry over the last year, check it out. Or even if you just want to see a picture of my grinning mug. WhatTheyThink's Going Green section is run by the awesome Gail Nickel-Kailing. Check it out whenever you're starting to feel like it ain't easy being a green printer.

Best Sites For Learning About Sustainable Printing And Design

Best Sites For Learning About Sustainable Printing And Design

I showed you my list, now you show me yours. I'm a big believe in the wise old saying, “the more we get together, the happier we'll be.” When it comes to any type of creative project, the best results are borne from an effective collaborative process. Websites are better when designers and programmers work together. And print is better when printers and designers work together. Luckily, over the last year or so, the amazing surge of interest in sustainable design and printing has led to the interesting side effect of printers and designers working together more closely to achieve an ideally satisfying result. That being said, check out some of my favorite sites from around the world created by graphic designers who are thinking green in the most amazing ways: Environmental Graffiti This site is a great source for interesting environmental news AND a focus, as the title suggests, on gorgeous eye-candy found in nature. It's design inspiration from […]

5 Ways To Celebrate Like A Green Printer

5 Ways To Celebrate Like A Green Printer

The holidays are the best time to save paper. Being a green printer is tough. And one of the hardest things about it is that no matter where we find places to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the fact is that we go through paper – a ton of paper – all the time. No matter how green we get, that's still the nature of the business, and it's the single biggest contributor to the size of our environmental footprint. In order to offset this somewhat unavoidable negative impact, many printers and designers take steps in other areas of their lives to be extra EXTRA eco-friendly. And one of the best times of year to make a difference – especially in terms of paper – is during the holiday season. Here are a few easy things anyone can do over the holidays to save paper and reduce waste, green printer-style: Make your own recycled wrapping paper: Instead of buying all that […]

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