What is Sustainable Graphic Design? In Flourishing, John Ehrenfeld writes that “The key to doing something about sustainability is that you first have to say what it is that you want to sustain.” So, to define sustainable graphic design then we first must define what it is we are sustaining. Sustainable graphic design is design in service of what you want to sustain. Ehrenfeld wants to sustain “that all humans and other life should flourish.” Bruce Mau described "Massive Change" similarly: “Our project is the welfare of all life.” Sustainable graphic design is then perhaps best defined as “graphic design in support of all life flourishing.” Sustainable Graphic Design is thus very different than status quo design. "All life flourishing" is not the traditional goal of business, culture, and design. Sustainable graphic design doesn’t solely rely on better materials or more socially conscious manufacturing. If sustainable graphic design is different than regular design, it requires different ways of thinking and making. Sustainable graphic design should also potentially carry with it different styles/aesthetics/outcomes. (All design is ideological, how some looks reflects what ideologies it promotes, etc.)
Did you know that you’re a designer whether you’ve studied within a design field or not? As a teacher, nurse, politician, graphic designer, etc., your “designs” (also known as plans or decisions) impact others. How can we make sure that you’re designing inclusive and equitable outcomes for all - no matter how big or small the decision?