The Design Of Earth Day
April 22, 2013

The Design Of Earth Day

I’ve been tasked with writing an Earth Day blog relative to my personal area of interest, so here goes. Earth Day and graphic design? That’ll be a tough one, but I think I got this.

There are a number of angles to take when it comes to Earth Day and graphic design; to begin with, it’s always important to be environmentally conscious, of course.

A few things I could do, if the client were interested, would be to have projects printed on recycled papers or those made from renewable resources. Locally purchased would be best, if possible, in order to reduce the carbon footprint as well. Another thing I could try is vegetable or soy based inks. Again, all of these things would depend on the client’s wants and needs, and more specifically, it would depend on their budget.

Those are all earth friendly solutions that involve print, but we’re forgetting the other half of the design world-web. Again, if the client were interested, I could propose an email blast or web advertisements as opposed to printed invites or posters to raise awareness.

The only issue with the Earth Day inspired solutions above, is they’re pretty obvious. Somebody who’s not a graphic designer could probably come up with four out of five of my ideas above, so now for the real design-nerd ideas.

If you’re not a graphic designer, multimedia designer, artist of some sort, or sympathizer for the creatives, it’s time to hit the back button and find another awesome redOrbit blog to read.

From the end of this sentence and down, the blog will be aimed specifically at visual communication tactics inspired by Earth Day.

If designing something specifically for a client for Earth Day, there’s a number of things you could do in order to make your work stand out from the crowd. Here are a few that I could come up with:

Be unique. Well, that’s easier said than done, right?

Take the example of endangered animals. If working with some sort of awareness campaign, instead of going with the obvious (overdone) tree frogs or sea turtles, maybe do some research on different endangered species that get a little less spotlight, or maybe try and come up with something that’s local. You may be able to invoke a sense of empathy from the end-user that you wouldn’t otherwise with the well-known animals.

Be unique-er.

Why’s everything got to be green? Yeah, I know. “Going green” is the phrase that pays when talking about stuff like this, but that doesn’t mean your designs need to be all green. Everybody’s already done that. Consider blues for the ocean, and other warm colors to compliment the plethora of greens you’ll be seeing from the competition.

When all else fails, symbol combine and create an icon specific to the event or client.

When you’re working with something as specific as Earth Day, it’s easy to fall into a rut and create something that communicates the exact same thing as every design before it. If your client’s open to suggestions, try and take advantage of the wiggle room. They’ll thank you later.

Since Earth Day has already kicked off, this may be a little too late, but everything online is forever, right? Maybe it’ll help someone next year.

Image Credit: Marish / Shutterstock

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