Sustainable Design

Sustainable design is smart, creative and enduring. It inspires change and is gentle on the planet. It is also economic sustainability: clever designs use minimum resources for maximum exposure.

At Viola, we make smart decisions for your brand, your budget and give you the best results. We are as invested in your future as we are that of our children’s. We have been committed to sustainable communications for more than 10 years not only as a design team but by offering research, consultation, public speaking and education. Founder Anna Carlile completed a Masters degree in Sustainability and developed the first and most comprehensive Australian resource for environmentally responsible graphic design, Design by Nature. Like caring for the environment, it’s a gift to the community.

So, how does sustainable design work in practice?

Research shows that 70 per cent of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage, well before paper, print and ink. Once the big, conceptual decisions are made, it’s time to consider elements that impact the environment.

At Viola, we know that size, colour, format and aesthetic style are fundamental. Cutting back on quantity or size in the initial stages will make the most significant change for the better. We also consider the most effective way to communicate your intended message. Is a printed piece the best option for reaching the target market? Could it be replaced with an e-document? Perhaps a media or radio campaign would be cheaper and more effective?

If print is the best way to go, we’ll devise the best format to deliver your message, with the least amount of resources, by asking:

• Is the design appropriate for the final product?

• Is there a better way to design this using fewer materials?

• Can we use recycled materials?

• What is required to produce this design?

• How much energy will it eat? Pollution? Hazardous waste?

• Is the product reusable?

• If it isn’t reusable is it recyclable?

• Is it easy to recycle?

At Viola, thinking outside the square (of paper) is what we do best. We add new dimensions to your design work while also caring for the planet, its people and the innate beauty of both.

For more information on sustainable design, visit the Design by Nature Guide. Produced by Viola Design, this community project and online resource for environmentally sustainable graphic design was launched in 2006, and was the first resource of its kind globally. Based on extensive research, this tool guides designers through the key areas of consideration, providing practical tips and ideas for everyday use.

For examples of Viola’s sustainable-design handiwork, visit Eco-Design Case Studies.