I once heard a UX designer say, “Colleges didn’t even teach what I now do every day.” My hope is that sustainable graphic designers will be able to say that one day, too. Right now sustainable design is a profession for only a few self-educated designers, but is generally ignored in the average graphic design curricula. Much like UX design, though, schools often lag in keeping up with the ever-changing world of design, so for those interested in making “sustainable designer” their title, here are the options available to you in schools now.
Natural Products Expo West is the Consumer Electronics Show of food. Miles of vendors hock their wares to a crowd of early adopters willing to risk a serious case of gut rot to get their hands on the latest culinary innovations. My gut was one of those, so I wanted to give you my readout on the trends I’m seeing sweep the natural and organic products industry.
We frequently get asked for advice because of our unique niche in sustainable design, and being quite interested in the subject we naturally dive head first into an on-the-spot, crash course in designing for sustainability. That can be a bit overwhelming for some, especially if this is your first introduction to the topic. So the next time somebody asks me for a sustainable design tip, I want to try something different. Here’s how I imagine it going.
Remember when Obama said that he would make government more transparent? The majority of people really liked the sound of that, but my guess is that this was one of the promises he made to win the youth vote. Considering his campaigns focus on the youth of America, this is the sort of thing his advisors would have told him was an important promise. That’s because transparency is heavily favored by millennials and forward thinking businesses would be wise to adapt toward this more transparent future.
While the public demands more sustainable packaging, those who have tried to deliver on this demand understand that what may seem like a simple request is actually much more complicated. Those who have taken on these challenges prove not only how big the task can be, but also what it takes to overcome the obstacles and get to a solution that works for customer and brand alike. The following are four lessons learned by some of the leading companies in the organic food industry.
Using a third party to handle your social media posts for your company is dumb. There, I said it. And actually, I’m not the only person who is saying it. So why are companies still doing it? I’m guessing it’s due to many business owners’ mixture of fear and ignorance about how social media works for companies and how to handle it without compromising the company’s reputation. So rather than explain why you shouldn’t let another company post your social media messages, I’ll give you some tools for how to handle it yourself.
Since the world of promotions has moved online, the promotional mailer has become a rare commodity, and because of this, a valuable one. Never has the walk from the mailbox to the front door or desk allowed companies to have such uninterrupted time with their customer. A perfect example of this seldom appreciated phenomenon came in the form of the above envelope.
Have you ever felt the joy of stumbling upon an organic option in a place you would never expect it? I had this happen when riding Amtrak from Chicago to Denver. Wandering down to the cafe car, I had little hope of finding anything edible let alone organic. I ordered the Oven Pride vegan burger, thinking that would be the healthiest option and was shocked to see the word organic listed before virtually every ingredient! Delight consumed me and I happily ordered burgers for every meal that trip. This is a perfect example of the loyal sales that come from making organic products more accessible.