solution | design can change

In June of 2006, smashLAB started to consider the amount of waste designers are responsible for. The paper and pulp industry is the third largest polluter, and according to the AIGA, American designers alone specify or purchase $9.1 billion in printing and paper annually.

In seeking ways to help mitigate their impact, smashLAB found few resources directly related to graphic design. There had been discussion, essays, and conferences dedicated to sustainability, but not much in the way of a clearing house for sustainable graphic design information.

Providing tools and resources was one goal of Design Can Change. The other was to leverage designers' strength as communicators to implement change. Designers craft much of the world's products/media and as such are well positioned to build awareness around this issue, while encouraging more sustainable industry practices.

Through Design Can Change, designers share a resource that answers many questions while helping design buyers locate environmentally-sensitive graphic designers. The site encourages designers to make this issue pivotal in all aspects of their practice by asking them to engage suppliers, clients, students and the general public in discussion around sustainability.


Project concept, development and design: smashLAB
Content, art direction and design: Eric Karjaluoto
Programming and database development: Eric Shelkie
Research, illustration and design: Peter Pimentel
Official imagery sponsor: Getty Images
© 2007 smashLAB