Substance 151: Modular design systems and visual vocabularies

30 04 2009

By contributing guest author Ida Cheinman, Principal and Creative Director of Substance 151, a strategic design agency for Green Printer‘s “Design Goes Green” series.

We live in a time when “sustainability” is topping the buzzword charts and a wave of greenwashing is flooding the mainstream. We live in a time of intense competition, gloomy economic forecasts and rapidly disappearing marketing budgets, but also in a time when more and more companies and organizations strive to uphold higher environmental and social values, making the shift to the triple bottom line economic model. Sustainability and social responsibility are the forces that drive many of today’s business decisions; they also change the way organizations re-think their branding and marketing strategies. As marketers and business leaders, we are faced with the challenge of finding differentiation by creating empowering and memorable brand experiences for our audiences in the increasingly crowded sustainable marketplace.

So, What are the rules? Read the rest of this entry »



StepUp Communications: Branding and identity means ‘organizing information’

1 04 2009

Green Printer speaks with Sigrid Albert, Principal and Art Director of StepUp Communications, a company that focuses on creative services for internal communications.

A Green Printer ‘Design Goes Green’ dispatch. A post by contributing writer Melissa Chungfat.

Some of your clients integrate sustainability in their business. What advice would you give to green start-up businesses in terms of identity and design?

Having a clear vision and direction for your company is the first step. From there, you can create your visual identity. Green businesses already have clear values to communicate, which makes it easier to design for them. Their visual identity should reflect what the business does and the best thing is for them to follow through with their promise. Be clear about what your strengths are and the direction your business is going, and designers can help with that process.

What value does design bring in terms of brand equity?

Design has a lot of value and good design will go beyond the product to allow for interpretation. Design establishes a professional look and there is an intangible quality that comes from a good identity that portrays trust. It’s important to keep in mind that the best logo is not going to help you if you don’t have a strong business plan. Read the rest of this entry »



Green alone won’t ‘recession-proof’ eco-friendly products

25 03 2009

By Contributing Writer Melissa Chungfat | Part of Green Printer‘s ‘Design Goes Green’ dispatch.

While more people are cutting back during the recession, green sales still remain strong with companies that have positioned themselves well in branding and marketing. It’s a topic that the much anticipated April 20th PSFK “Creativity for Change, Ideas to Make Things Better” conference in New York City will be speaking about as part of their sustainable and socially conscience agenda.

Recently, GreezBiz.com reported on a survey that revealed, “68 percent of consumers say that even in a recession they would remain faithful to a brand if it supports a good cause; nearly seven in 10 would be prepared to pay more for eco-friendly products.” Buyers plan to remain loyal to products that they perceive to have strong social value. Read the rest of this entry »



Why did corporations that ‘leaned’ toward green in 2008 perform better financially?

11 03 2009

Design Goes Green – The first of a series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry.

By Contributing Writer Melissa Chungfat.

Every day we hear about companies going under and pub meals having more value than bank stocks. At at time when profits are low across the nation, some company executives think that now is not the time to implement environmental initiatives. So why did companies committed to sustainability in 2008 perform better that those that didn’t?

Management consulting firm A.T. Kearney did a study comparing the performances of  99 companies with strong commitments to sustainability against industry averages from May to November 2008. Companies that leaned towards green outperformed industry averages by 15% over the six months in 16 of the 18 industries. Read the rest of this entry »



Green, recycled paper brands – The four you don’t know

2 06 2008

Image source: Ecofriend.org

A Green Printer Online Dispatch

Do you scoff at company-made labels (i.e. internal labels) and only go for the non-profit, third party born eco-labels when buying green office supplies? Or do you take both with a grain of salt, comparing the merits of “private” and “public” labels?

If you’re the latter or if you are a green procurer, you probably want to streamline the “boom! done, I’m buying that product – not that one – because it has a trusty brand” process. So, here are the ins and outs of some of the up and coming brands that you’ll see in Staples, online or in a custom office paper supply shop. Read the rest of this entry »



Seven Ways Business is Green-ing Our World: One paper product at a time

9 05 2008

Image source: http://www.cubeking.com | An http://www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

The big names cannot help but pump out more sustainable paper products on an almost weekly basis. From biology college textbooks gone green to carbon friendly greeting cards, we’ve rounded up the top ten green papier goods that caught our eye.

7. So, the FSC is not perfect. But it’s a start and it speaks volumes when office supply giants like Staples start to sell what most of us want to start using already in the copy machine: post-consumer waste paper.

6. Green textbooks are challenging Penn State University‘s exam taking establishment. Talk about a YAWN generation.

5. Perfect for the green spy in your life? Xerox has got paper that erases in 24 hours.

4. From your hiking map to your grandma’s birthday letter: Chris Ryan, a publisher of outdoor recreation and guide books now buys up to 15 tons of outdated maps at a time to meet his customer’s demands from these premium quality, unique envelopes made from 100% post-consumer content.

3. Random House’s 2008 15% recycled paper policy: the one that triggered a short-term revenue decline and in the future (if the right CEO steps up to the plate) has the potential to paint the publishing world a darker shade of green.

2. Live lighter at the office by switching to 100% post-consumer waste paper and then showing off your CO2 and tree savings using Green Printer’s eco-calculator widget (we couldn’t resist a well-time “plug”!)

1. Verysupercool (yes, that is their real and uber-funky name) teams with CarbonFund.org to create the Greenest Little Greeting Card in Texas.

So, even while the mythical paperless office lures us with its green goodness, we still use and love our paper – printed on both sides, thankyouverymuch.

Save trees, time and money the eco-friendly way with our recycled paper, sustainable printing methods and eco-calculator with Green Printer – more details at http://www.greenprinteronline.com. Now, wasn’t that easy?



Anti-catalogue mail campaigns that pay and junk entrepreneurs that bring the sexy back to sustainability

15 04 2008

A Junk Mail “Sculpture” a la http://antiadvertisingagency.com

A http://greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

We’ve come this far in our exasperation with junk mail-apalooza and now people are luring us with cold, hard cash (or the beauty of planting a tree) to get us to stop receiving virgin-forest-eating junk mail.

We’re in love with Green Dimes (thank you to Nate Burgos of Design Feast for the gread tip), which not only offers a widget that claims to track, in real time, how many:

i. trees are saved;
ii. Victoria Secret catalogues are stopped and;
iii. (tongue in cheek style) “people helped”,

but also offers a really convenient online service to cut out those annoying credit card application forms. Read the rest of this entry »



Earth Hour: Tooth fairy delusion or one hour vigil?

29 03 2008

Image source: http://timblair.net | Lights out for Sydney, Australia 2007

An http://greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

Earth Hour is tonight, March 29th from 8 to 9 pm. The idea is to turn off the lights as a symbolic gesture that us citizens, business owners, uber-corporations (hello, Google’s black screen, hello McDonalds in Toronto saving 10 000 kilowatt hours) local governments and non-profit groups are taking climate change seriously.

Despite gripes that Earth Hour falls on the NCAA basketball regional, it’s lights out for over 23 major cities worldwide like Toronto and Bangkok. Read the rest of this entry »



(Not So New) Markets for Green Businesses: Law, accounting and architecture firms

13 03 2008

Image source | www.jiinjoo.com

An http://greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

When asked: how “green” are you, the brains behind accounting, IT and architectural firms who, kudos to them – both the closet greens or eco-warriors who proudly bear their eco-badge on their sleeve – jump up to say that they are helping their clients drive sustainability solutions.

Even lawyers are realizing their impact on their environment. No seriously, lawyers are sharp enough to know that using all that virgin paper cannot be good to the environment.

But when it comes to driving internal sustainability initiatives? Many still respond by: “we recycle”. Period. Read the rest of this entry »



A green biz guide to recycling electronics – Origin Design does “Mission Zero”

2 03 2008

 

Photos by Chris Jordan | “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption”

Design Goes Green – The first of a series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry.

According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, used or unwanted electronics amounted to 1.9 to 2.2 million tons in 2005, with most of that ending up in landfills. We did a post earlier on the how the chemicals that seep into the soil, even decades later, can have harmful human health effects and the fact that heaps of the stuff are often left abandoned in developing countries. Read the rest of this entry »