So you’re interested in using a Graphic Designer to produce the most environmentally friendly solution to your design brief, but don’t know what this involves?

Eco-Graphic Design is as easy as allowing your designer to think outside the box and suggest more environmental solutions where possible. Read below for a quick guide to what this may involve. It is easy to consider more environmental solutions to a design brief without sacrificing the integrity of the project.

Quick Guide


  • Work with your designer during briefing stages to identify the most important to the least important items of the project so these can be accommodated with eco preferences where possible.
  • Consider the message of the project, is this project socially responsible? Are you advertising untruths? What is the best way to market your product or service with honesty and integrity?
  • Intend to have the piece designed for extended use or reuse wherever possible. For example, a promotional flyer designed in December could include a yearly fridge calendar on the back to be used all year-round. Be creative in your approach.
  • When designing for print, avoid page bleeds where possible. Printing with bleed creates offcuts that need to go through a de-inking process during recycling.
  • Avoid creating design that uses a lot of ink coverage and design in black and white when possible.
  • Consider using ‘low-ink’ fonts for large areas of body text. Here are some examples.


  • Consider the size of the project. Is it possible to reduce the amount of paper required to achieve the desired outcome, such as developing an A5 brochure instead of A4. Does the project have to be printed at all or are there other digital solutions?
  • Use only environmental printers for the printing of your design. Accredited printers have met targets for the reduction of their emissions.
  • Choose only FSC certified 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper and use vegetable based, low-VOC inks.
  • Avoid adding metallic inks and coatings such as varnishes and laminates to printed items as these are difficult to de-ink and recycle, and many of these special finishes are made up of toxins that are harmful to the environment.


  • Use a local green web host for your website such as Digital Pacific. A green web hosts will host your website on a server in a low energy environment.
  • If a web page is likely to be printed, ensure the design doesn’t have large areas of colour which will waste large amounts of ink during printing.

Remember that eco-graphic design does not have to cost any more than traditional design and it certainly doesn’t have to look any different!

Green design resources