Designers can’t provide practical contributions to minimize the use of natural resources. Can we? After all, we develop stories and ideas, build brands and sell products. Our long-term well-being is better protected elsewhere, right?
My colleagues are some of the most thoughtful and conscientious folks alive, eager to contribute to a cleaner, healthier ecosystem. Yet, we often feel insignificant or powerless to make a difference in our daily work life; we lack the authority to make the big changes or influence the dramatic issues of global warming, environmental management, or ethical consumerism.
Thankfully, we don’t have to invent cold fusion to make a difference. There are some simple, basic principles and practices to be more efficient and save resources. A pleasant side-effect of most of these solutions are that they result in reduced costs and quicker speed to market for our brands:
Consolidate packaging materials—Landor conducted an audit of packaging components and manufacturing facilities for Schlage locks. This led to recommendations for streamlining and optimizing package components. Within the optimized system, the design team provided concepts for updated thermoform and carton structures. Then, by partnering with Schlage’s core supply-chain providers, we developed proprietary, more efficient structures that improved shelf impact and showcased products more effectively. Our efforts reduced the total number of package material and parts by more than 50 percent and delivered more than $1 million annually in cost savings.
Calibrate color—Reduce waste and shipping by adopting an accurate and reliable color development process. Use calibrated monitors to share digital soft color proofs. Printing hard copy proofs with a standardized profile and configuration across multiple locations can significantly reduce the waste associated with multiple iterations as well as minimize the carbon footprint associated with shipping multiple color proofs back and forth between partners.
Color simplification—Some businesses benefit from the use of an extended gamut color workflow (standard process color plus orange, green, and blue) for printing. If successful, such optimized solutions reduce waste, raw materials, and makeready time.
Scott Hosa started his career in the graphic arts at 14 years old as a printer’s helper at a local newspaper, and has been in printing and packaging ever since. He studied graphic design at Youngstown State University, industrial design at The Ohio State University and has worked on all aspects of global branding for clients including Bayer, GSK, Hershey Company, Kraft Foods Inc., PepsiCo., Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Unilever. Hosa is currently helping clients build agile brands that thrive in today’s dynamic, disruptive marketplace as associate director of technical graphics at Landor, a global leader in brand consulting and design.