green printer

Does Earth Day Need A Lesson In Branding?

Does Earth Day Need A Lesson In Branding?

Looking back on 40 years of green thinking. The world celebrated Earth Day last week, on April 22nd, and I noticed that a lot of printers ran special green printing promotions, or blogged about sustainable printing. But I hesitated to post about the day because, for printers, every day is Earth Day. In our industry, we don't have the luxury to ever stop thinking about our environmental impact, to stop learning about how we can reduce that impact, or to ignore our role as environmental stewards. That being said, an interesting question might be: what can printers do to improve the experience of Earth Day in their communities? It's a great day to hold events like community cleanups, and to share knowledge about environmental issues, but an even more interesting suggestion was implied by an Earth Day article on the AIGA website this year, in which author Phil Patton posed the question: “Why is there no simple single symbol or […]

Are New Green Press Plants the Solution?

Are New Green Press Plants the Solution?

Pros and cons. As a printer, it's possible to come at sustainable printing strategies from many angles. Using green materials, employing ecologically mindful design sensibilities, recycling, cutting down on waste, and even encouraging employees to lead greener lifestyles are all parts of the puzzle. But the point when printers really step their game up comes when they begin to consider infrastructure. Using alternative energy sources, like wind or solar power, is one consideration. Building a facility, from the ground up, designed around environmentally sound architectural philosophies, is another. In July, Transcontinental Printing opened the NADEV Printing Facility in Fremont, CA. The building has just been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification for its green design. The massive printing plant took fifteen months and well over 200 million dollars to build. It includes green features like recycled materials used in construction, high-efficiency drip irrigated landscaping, and water-saving plumbing. The building is the first of its kind in […]

Green Printing: Defining Sustainability for Print

Green Printing: Defining Sustainability for Print

A survival skill for successful printers. When the mid-00s' brought 'green' everything into vogue, one of the buzzwords du jour was 'sustainability.' And it's a term that still gets thrown around a lot, but it's rarely properly defined. People first started to talk about sustainability in regards to environmentalism in the 1950s and 60s. It was that long ago when experts in ecology started to say, “hey, we can't consume as much as we do, and create as much waste as we do, and continue to live comfortably on planet Earth.” Sustainability, then, became the core of an idea that we had to manage our resources in such a way that life could go one, so that future generations could have a good – or ideally, better – quality of life than we have today. As Wikipedia says in one of its more poetic moments, “Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure.” While sustainable living isn't entirely […]

Green Printing: More Than Just a 00′ Trend

Green Printing: More Than Just a 00′ Trend

And not as pricey as the 'trend' tag implies… Ever since the economy has been in the proverbial toilet, experts throughout the printing industry have been saying the same thing: nobody cares about the environment anymore. But what's really being said here? I think it's: nobody is willing to pay more for a 'green' brand or product anymore. Fair 'nuff. Too bad for businesses that were hoping to capitalize on environmentalism as a trend. However, those businesses for whom environmental stewardship is more than a buzz word should not give up on consumers so quickly. The root of the problem is that somehow, 'green' became a trend, and the difficulty with trends is always the same. They fly into popularity, a lot of chic terminology gets thrown around, generalizations and misconceptions abound, people buy a bunch of junk, and in the end, little of substance is gained from the collective cultural experience. However, in this case, it's different. Here at […]

Is Printing The End Of The World?

Is Printing The End Of The World?

(Really?) It's something we all learned in grade school: don't waste paper! Paper comes from trees. When you waste paper, you're single-handedly murdering our forests. Over the years, this hug-the-planet credo evolved into a full-fledged rallying cry against the print industry for decimating the earth's tree supply and flooding its rivers with chemical waste. Point taken. Really. Printers are the first to admit that when our industry burgeoned into existence, people weren't spending a lot of time thinking about renewable vs. non-renewable resources. We weren't worried about emissions or carbon footprints, Peak Oil or the importance of environmental stewardship. But heck, folks, an industry can LEARN, and more importantly, it can CHANGE. The question is, can an industry change its reputation? As Richard Romano points out ina great editorial on PrintCEO, the print industry is working its collective butt off to develop technologies, best practices, and strategies which make sure that resources are used as carefully and as cleanly as […]

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 […]

25 Random Things About Hotcards.com

25 Random Things About Hotcards.com

Since soooo many printers have been tagging us… Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 printers to be tagged. You have to tag the printer who tagged you. 1 – Hotcards was started by a concert promoter, and maybe that's why we do so much printing for musicians, music venues, and publications. 2 – Hotcards doesn't just do print and design, we also specialize in web development and hosting. 3 – On Fridays, Columbus (the boss!) buys lunch for everyone in the office. 4 – There are some seriously hardcore Cleveland Cavs fans around here. 5 – We regularly sponsor sports teams and tournaments. 6 – Sometimes, Columbus lets us do some design work and printing for our favorite local businesses – just for fun. 7 – We're a union printer, which you probably already knew, but I bet you […]

Hotcards is in the News!

Hotcards is in the News!

Because we're awesome. Cleveland news channel WKYC came by the Hotcards head office this week to talk to us about the printing business. Check out the resulting article and news story here. The story turned out great. They interviewed a bunch of people, and everybody was very professional and NOT at all nervous. And they covered all the stuff that's cool about Hotcards. They talked about how we got started, when Columbus had an idea for a better printing business, and how he built it with no help from bank loans or borrowed startup capital. They talked about our green printing efforts, and showcased our sweet water-saving plate processor. (NB: in the video clip, Columbus says the processor uses only 15 gallons of water a week, but the article accidentally quotes him as saying 15 gallons a month. Just a typo, folks.) The story also mentions that we're a union print shop, which is a bigger deal nowadays than it […]

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 […]

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