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Design for Good – Designing the Future of the Environment

22 jun 2022 —
Print
Design for good - Ecology

Man’s impact on the natural world is arguably the most pressing issue of our time. It’s becoming increasingly important for individuals, businesses, and governments to understand how they can take positive action for the environment.

Man’s impact on the natural world is arguably the most pressing issue of our time. It’s becoming increasingly important for individuals, businesses, and governments to understand how they can take positive action for the environment.

Designers are no exception, and as we take a closer look, we can see once again how design can be used for good. From public service campaigns to inspiring storybooks, an increasing number of designers are using their talents to raise awareness about and provide solutions for the environmental crisis. Let’s look at examples of their designs that highlight environmental issues. These creatives demonstrate that design can have an impactful influence on how humans engage with the environment. Beautiful designs today can help lead to a more beautiful world for tomorrow.

 

Ryman Eco Font

Ryman eco fontWhen it comes to ecology and design, why not begin with the basics. That’s what Monotype Type Director Dan Rhatigan, in collaboration with Grey London, did when they wanted to make print more ecologically friendly. While we have seen ecological trends in paper, they focused on typography instead. Their objective was to create the world's most beautiful, sustainable font. They created Ryman Eco Font, an environmentally sustainable typeface launched by UK stationery retailer Ryman that uses an average of 33% less ink than standard fonts. Imagine the ink and subsequent energy that such a font can economise when used on a global scale. Furthermore, Ryman Eco Font is not only ecologically forward thinking, it is beautiful, reminding us once again that we don’t have to compromise beauty when designing for good.

 

Ryman eco typeface

A sustainable typeface: Ryman Eco

Super Hero Me

It is impossible to think of the future without thinking about today’s children. Many young minds are already focused on the future of the environment, and their potential to inspire us to do more should not be underestimated. Git Yu, a young boy in Asia with autism, is one of those minds. He found art as a channel to express his fascination with animals and hopes that humans will play their part to protect them.

Through his orignal drawings and storytelling, Git Yu’s “Superhero Me - Hunt For Gold” tells of a boy’s impossible dream to bring extinct animals back to life. He sets out on a journey of discovery through art to build an understanding of biodiversity.

 

superhero me 1

Superhero Me - Hunt for Gold by Git Yu
mentored by artist Lee Wan Xiang

superhero me 2

Superhero Me - Hunt for Gold by Git Yu
mentored by artist  Lee Wan Xiang

The pages of this inventive storybook are brought together through an incredible design collaboration. Mentored by artist Lee Wan Xiang, Git Yu created original drawings, which the Singapore creative agency Ono Creates used to design the publication and packaging.

The result is an inspiring storybook sharing important lessons for the environment along the way. Superhero Me demonstrates the power of creative collaboration for good, and how the arts can be harnessed creatively for social advocacy.

Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables

Food waste is one of the largest impacts on the environment today. Wasted food is wasted energy. For all the carbon emissions and water use that produce production tallies up, it is heartbreaking for perfectly good food to go unused. Each year, the world throws away hundreds of millions of tons of fruits and vegetables, mainly because of their appearance. They’re often overlooked due to misconceptions and eventually thrown out.

As the EU began imposing strict regulations on food waste, Intermarché asked Marcel Worldwide to imagine a campaign to alter consumers' perceptions of imperfect fruits and vegetables. Marcel created ads with glamour shots of the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange the Failed Lemon, and more to celebrate their beauty. Meanwhile Intermarché bought from its growers the products they usually throw away, selling them at a 30% discount. The campaign saw Intermarché's store traffic increase by 24% and their sales of fruits and vegetables by 10%, proving that design for a positive impact on the environment doesn’t mean foregoing sales.

 

inglorious fruits & vegetables
Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables campaign by Marcel Worldwide

We Compost

Typeface design by wecompost
Typeface Design by We compost

As waste breaks down in landfills, it gives off the potent green house gas methane, contributing to global warming. One of the most valuable solutions to this problem is composting, which repurposes organic waste by converting it into a soil nutrient for food production. Good waste management is essential for making this possible, and Green Gorilla is the leader in Auckland, New Zealand. With a desire to continue growing their business and positive environmental impact, they worked with design studio Seachange on their branding and communication to create the We Compost campaign.
 
For the campaign, Seachange created playful and accessible branding, appealing to all ages, starting with a custom typeface inspired by worms, who play an essential part in the composting by breaking down organic waste. The modern and fun designs with an immediate recognition are used on We Compost bin liners, t-shirts, business cards, posters and website. All tangible marketing products themselves are compostable, with their compost time visibly advertised. The goal of Seachange’s branding for Green Gorilla’s We Compost initiative, is to welcome people beyond those already invested in environmental challenges and solutions, to join a movement and make a diffrence, proving once again that design and communication are a driving force for positive influence.

Priceless Traps

The invasive lion fish species in the waters of South America poses an increasing problem not just to local species and biodiversity but also to the local fisherman. To save local species and their livelihood, local fisherman are encouraged to hunt the lion fish but this can require expensive weapons. A creative agency in Bogota Colombia created designs for traps using recycled materials that solved two major problems: affordability and safety. To bring this project to life, they created illustrated booklets distributed to the fisherman showing how to create the traps with easily accessible materials.

The clear design and print campaign made communicating with the fisherman easy and accessible, and as a result the campaign was wildly successful. The cost of the weapons to hung the invasive species was reduced by 96.4% with this innovative design using recycled materials. Fishermen could build them with their own hands, just following the illustrated booklets with material that could be easily found. The campaign shows that design can help make ecology democratic, allowing for those at all socio economic level to make a difference.

 

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Lionfish homemade Trap Design Direct Campaign for Ministry of Environment and Sustainability in Colombia by WPP
 
 
It is impressive to see the beautiful work that creative minds are doing in the interest of ecology. Design is at the heart of innovation, and innovation is essential for solving the environmental problems of today for a brighter future. Beautiful designs today like these can help lead to a more beautiful world for tomorrow.
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