Written by Asimina Fotopoulou, graphic designer at Wattcrop.


When you think of graphic design, sustainability isn’t really the first or even the second thing that comes to mind. It’s a relatively new concept that many are not yet aware of, but it is becoming more popular as environmental problems become more serious.

What is sustainable graphic design?

Sustainable graphic design prioritizes the impact the design has on the environment. The goal here is to minimize the negative implications of design practices on the planet by integrating sustainable and ethical considerations throughout the creative process. This involves making mindful choices about materials, production methods, and energy consumption.


Key considerations

One of the key considerations for sustainable graphic design is the choice of materials, as it directly influences resource consumption, waste generation, and environmental impact. Opting for recycled papers, cardboards, and other materials reduces the demand for virgin resources and minimizes waste. Additionally, using materials that are easily recyclable at the end of their lifecycle promotes a circular economy. Choosing eco-friendly inks, such as vegetable-based or water-based inks, reduces the release of harmful chemicals into the environment during printing.

Another critical aspect of sustainable graphic design is making attentive choices about production methods. This involves adopting practices that reduce environmental impact, conserve resources, and promote ethical considerations. We can prioritize digital distribution and online platforms for content delivery by preferring digital over print. We can also print on demand, which will lead to minimizing overproduction and excess inventory.

Last but not least, energy consumption comprises a critical aspect of sustainable graphic design. We can minimize energy consumption through various strategies:

  • Using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to run design studios and production facilities can significantly reduce the carbon emissions associated with electricity use.
  • Opting for energy-efficient computers, printers, and other equipment reduces power consumption during the design and production phases.
  • Embracing remote work and digital collaboration tools can reduce the need for commuting, leading to less energy consumption associated with travel.


In conclusion, sustainable graphic design transcends mere visuals; it embodies a profound commitment to the planet’s well-being. It recognizes that design is not just about aesthetics, but also about making ethical choices that reflect a more sustainable future.