Green Printing

Green Printing = Green Jobs = Strong Economy

Green Printing = Green Jobs = Strong Economy

Eco advocate Van Jones does the math. Before this whole credit crisis and economic downswing took hold, I remember thinking that the final stretch of the White House race was going to be all about the environment. Remember when John McCain first received the nomination to run? His campaign came out with an elaborate array of green print advertising meant to peg him as an 'eco' Republican. Of course, everybody forgot about that once the economy took center stage, and now the big question launching Obama's Presidency is “How are we going to heal our economy?” For the answer, Obama's new team of problem-solvers should take a look at the printing industry, and in particular, the green printing industry. With the advent of IT and the dream of the paperless office, many people once said that the printing industry might disappear altogether. But it hasn't disappeared. In fact, it's stronger than ever because the industry adapted, and began working with […]

Eco-Friendly Direct Mail Printing

Eco-Friendly Direct Mail Printing

How to send a green message. As the printing industry gets greener, one of the main areas where tensions arise is direct mail printing. How can it remain an effective advertising medium as consumers become more eco-conscious? An interesting study conducted by market research agency CCB Fast.MAP, in the UK, has come up with some answers. CCB found that un-personalized direct mail – stuff like flyers handed out by kids on the weekends – is perceived as being bad for the environment by almost 50% of consumers. On the other hand, addressed, targeted direct mail – the kind brought by the postman – is seen as environmentally harmful by only 20% of consumers polled. It also seems that people are more inclined to view poorly printed, black and white leaflets, flyers, and brochures as 'junk,' as opposed to nicely designed, full color direct mail printing. If an advertiser makes the effort to design a nice mailer, and has it sorted, […]

Hotcards – The Green Printing Expert

Hotcards – The Green Printing Expert

It ain't easy being green, but great community sure does help! Hey folks! Check it out! Your very own blog-mistress has got an article about green printing and design up over at the very cool Inspiration Bit! Are you a designer that wants to know more about green printing? A printer interested in how people are thinking about green design? Then have a look, post a comment, make me look cool and expert! (And while you're at it, check out IBit's fabulous new site design. Great job, Vivien!)  

Print Advertising That MAKES Us Care.

Print Advertising That MAKES Us Care.

Can advertising give us an eco-conscience? Last week, I was talking a lot about people getting 'bored' with environmentalism because of the OD they're getting from an overeager business world hyping a 'green' philosophy that's debatably sincere. But print advertising isn't naturally the bane of environmentalism. In fact, advertising is probably one of the best mediums we've got for educating and generating enthusiasm about taking a different approach to how we interact with our planet. After all, if advertising is known for anything, it's known for its ability to persuade. When it comes to environmentalism, the onus is on us to find ways to cut through 'the green fog.' How do we persist in creating communication innovative enough to keep people's eyes and ears open? Reps from the agency that created the WE campaign for the Alliance for Climate Protection recently discussed this issue on NPR – a conversation well worth checking out as these guys are REALLY looking at […]

Becoming a Greener Printer

Becoming a Greener Printer

Everything you ever wanted to know about Earth series inks. Going from regular printer ink to low-VOC ink can be tricky. You don't want to commit to an ink that is low quality, or that provides your customers with a different finished product than what they're used to. The good news is that after extensive testing in the area of low-VOC inks, Hotcards has found the perfect fit: Kohl & Madden Earth series inks. Earth series inks were design to be environmentally friendly, while still standing up to the high-pressure demands of sheetfed offset printing. The VOC levels in the Earth series inks are about 2% – that's approximately 60-80% lower than the VOC levels in standard ink products. Not too shabby! And Earth series inks do this while managing to set extremely well, with a high gloss, even when uncoated, AND they offer a nice wide water window. Our new inks also provide super high trap efficiency, dot fidelity, […]

Printing With Low-VOC Inks

Printing With Low-VOC Inks

Sounds great, but what does it mean? It's fun to brag about all the stuff we're doing around Hotcards to reduce our environmental footprint. Less fun is trying to figure out the meaning behind all the jargon. For example, we're always telling customers about how we print with low-VOC inks. Low-VOC inks are vegetable or soy-based, as opposed to oil/petroleum based. Already that's sounding pretty 'green,' but personally, I wanted some details. This is what I found out: VOC stands for 'Volatile Organic Compound.' Volatile organic compounds are chemical compounds that naturally possess enough vapor pressure to evaporate under normal conditions. You can often smell this kind of thing happening with paints, household cleaners, and gasoline. They're constantly evaporating, and as they do, they release stinky fumes into the air. Methane is also a VOC – one of the biggest, in fact. As it evaporates, the fumes created cause air pollution, smog and contribute significantly to global warming. But the […]

Deadly Print Advertising No-No: Greenwashing

Deadly Print Advertising No-No: Greenwashing

How consumers – and advertisers – can protect themselves. TerraChoice, an environmental marketing firm, has received a lot of attention for the work they've done defining that PR poison known as 'greenwashing.' Greenwashing is basically advertising that misleads consumers into thinking that a business is environmentally friendly when it is not. Because the print industry is the bearer of a heavy environmental burden, and because we are closely tied with the world of advertising, greenwashing is a big deal to us. TerraChoice put together a list called “The Six Sins of Greenwashing,” which help to define exactly what that sinister ad technique is. I think they're so worth knowing that I've compiled them here: “Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off” – Touting the eco-benefits of one aspect of a business to draw attention away or cover-up environmental crimes being committed in other areas. This one really got my attention because the example given is that of paper, and how sustainable tree […]

Is All Green, All The Time, Suddenly Too Much?

Green Printing 07.08.2008
Is All Green, All The Time, Suddenly Too Much?

Consumers want to be sure that it's all about the green, not the green. A recent series of studies indicate that consumers may be feeling overwhelmed by the sudden wave of green printing, advertising, and product placement that has flooded the market over the last couple of years. The transition has been dramatic. Much of the push behind eco-conscious living is about making change NOW, instead of waiting for things to get really bad. The problem, according to the studies conducted by the Shelton Group and Porter Novelli, is that so many new products and options are being pushed. Consumers feel that they don't have the time or the budget to do them all, so why bother? As a green printer, it's easy to understand where the average consumer is coming from. Being responsible about how we print at Hotcards means making changes to almost every facet of our business: inks and paper have to be changed, new machines to […]

Happy Fourth of July From Everybody at Hotcards!

Happy Fourth of July From Everybody at Hotcards!

Have a great long weekend! And keep it red, white, blue, and GREEN all year round!

Biker Brand Launches Rebel Ad Campaign

Biker Brand Launches Rebel Ad Campaign

Not all print advertising has gone green Green printing and green advertising tend to go hand in hand, which makes me think that Harley-Davidson probably wasn't worried about finding an eco-friendly printer for their latest print ad campaign. The campaign, which was launched both in print and online, is based around a philosophy that can roughly be summarized by the copy, “Fear sucks. Screw it, let's ride.” Carmichael Lynch, the Minneapolis ad agency behind the campaign, conducted 'road research' in the development of the concept, hanging out with Harley owners and asking them what was on their minds. The results are a campaign that confronts the issues of the day, such as economic downswing and political conflict, with the rebellious, defiant attitude that biker culture is famous for. The campaign, which includes both traditional print media, and apparel printing, stands in stark contrast to the rest of the ultra-enlightened green advertising industry. Although Harley-Davidson doesn't come right out and say […]

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