a wholistic approach to rebrand sustainability
“COLOR DOES NOT ADD A PLEASANT QUALITY TO DESIGN - IT REINFORCES IT.” - Pierre Bonnard
a conference on rebranding sustainability
Resilience. It is “the ability of an ecosystem to return to its original state after being disturbed,” (Collins English Dictionary). Supported by scientific facts, data, and research, the phenomenon of Climate Change deals with the negative human impact upon non-human systems--the earth. Societies across the globe are already starting to experience its effects, which will only worsen unless those societies act to sustain themselves and the resources available to them through whole-systems thinking. Such thinking was the approach taken to develop this book and justify the argument to rebrand the Sustainability Movement with Resilient Yellow instead of yellow-green. It is mankind’s responsibility to embrace whole-systems thinking, value human and non-human populations equally, capitalize on innovation, and lead one another to a more sustainable lifestyle through education and collaboration—the five main principles of the Sustainability Movement (Gilman, 1990). Since whole-systems thinking is something taught and learned, the assembly of this book is similar to the format of an educational conference, and is applicable to anyone above thirteen years of age or those just entering junior high school. Adding to people’s current perception of yellow as evoking memories of summer beach vacations, homemade lemonade, or planting marigold flowers in time for Spring, it is the goal that Resilient Yellow will remind people of the organic harmony between them and their natural environments.
OPENING KEYNOTE SUSTAINABILITY 101 MOVEMENTS AIGA LIVING PRINCIPLES WORKSHOP 1:VERSATILITY OF YELLOW LOGO CASE STUDIES FIELD STUDIES WORKSHOP 2: PATTERN DESIGN CLOSING KEYNOTE SPONSORS
1 3-4 5-6 7-8 9 - 10 11 12 - 20 21 - 26 27 - 28 30
OPENING KEYNOTE MEANINGS OF YELLOW
Happiness, joy, warmth, caution, cowardice, treachery, and weakness. From one culture to another, the color yellow spans across a continuum of both positive and negative meanings. Though its complex connotation is notably attributed to specific medical conditions like Jaundice, historical events like Yellow Peril, and spiritual associations with the flow of energy (Feng Shui), its simple nature is always attributed back to the sun and center of direction. As a bright, warm, and energetic fundamental primary color, the parallels of yellow with nature, as depicted in the collage to the right, inspired the application of it to rebrand the Sustainability Movement. Resilient Yellow C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
Yellow in Feng Shui aims at creating a living and working environment in harmony with nature and the flow of energy, which coincides with the Sustainability Movementâ€™s attempt to create and maintain conditions that permit harmony amongst humans and nature. Therefore, it only seems fitting to have yellow give life to Sustainability and distinguish it from the Environmental Movement that it is often confused with. The two movements are not the same. Yellow, specifically Resilient Yellow, should be the only color to represent Sustainability because it literally outshines the Environmental Movementâ€™s yellow-green in both color and substance. It radiates energy and exudes inspiration, which should encourage people to be optimistic about a new world and future based on innovation, knowledge, and ideasâ€”all of which are, again, meanings of yellow.
SPLIT-COMPLEMENTARY COLOR SCHEME â€œSustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.â€? - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Sustainability encourages methods and behaviors that balance the consumption and impact of such consumption of natural resources on the environment without detracting from a viable economy and enhanced quality of life. It consists of three pillars-environmental, economic, and social-- represented by the split-complementary color harmony to the right. Concern for the environment is of primary importance, so Resilient Yellow contrasts with Econ Fusion and Hybrid Blue, which are still equally as important.
ENVIRONMENTAL The environmental pillar of sustainability encourages the protection of natural resources from overexploitation and neglect by humans through initiatives like: renewable energy, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable agriculture, and better waste management. COLOR NAME: Resilient Yellow
C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
ECONOMIC The economic pillar of sustainability ensures that economic growth maintains a healthy balance with the ecosystem by focusing on the fair distribution and allocation of resources amongst all populations. COLOR NAME: Econ Fusion
C: 41 M: 97 Y: 15 K: 1
SOCIAL The social pillar of sustainability emphasizes mankindâ€™s ethical responsibility towards promoting and sustaining an enhanced quality of life that diminishes human inequality, social injustice, and poverty. COLOR NAME: Hybrid Blue
C: 83 M: 85 Y: 0 K: 0
SUSTAINABILITY vs ENVIRONMENTAL
The Sustainability Movement is not the Environmental Movement. Though many of the concepts addressed by both overlap, Sustainability is more vision- and solution-oriented by emphasizing whole-systems thinking. This differs from the Environmental Movement, which simply focuses on the human impact upon non-human systems. Highlighting these two movements is important because people commonly use these words interchangeably, not knowing that there is actually a difference between them. This is why using Resilient Yellow to rebrand Sustainability is necessary, because it separates a sustainable method or behavior from an environmental/â€?greenâ€? one. Yellow is not green, just like a primary color is not a secondary one. Therefore, the significance of this holistic approach to sustainability should be emphasized by a bolder, brighter color.
1969: The National Environmental Policy Act is passed and the Environmental Protection Agency is created.
1970: The first Earth Day is observed on April 22.
1973: The Endangered Species Act is passed.
SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT â€œTaking a whole-systems approach to develop human systems, technologies, and lifestyles that can provide high quality and environmentally benign ways of life for all of humankind, now and many generations into the future.â€? - Robert Gilman COLOR NAME: Resilient Yellow
C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT A scientific, social, and political movement that addresses environmental issues by recognizing that humanity is a participant in the state of ecosystems. Environmentalists advocate for environmental stewardship and resource management through public policy and human behavior. COLOR NAME: Green Movement
1998: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
2005: The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect, binding ratifying industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
C: 57 M: 6 Y: 100 K: 0
2012: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development takes place in Rio de Janiero to discuss ways to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.
AIGA LIVING PRINCIPLES DOUBLE COMPLEMENTARY COLOR SCHEME
More than half of a product’s impact on the environment is predetermined during the design stage. Only by thinking holistically about various factors such as the materials used, waste produced, product durability, and overall recyclability can a designer transform their respective design industry to be more sustainable. To aid designers in this process, American Institute of Graphic Arts created a Living Principles for Design framework that infuses four “streams of sustainability” to guide everyday design decisions. By considering the environment, people, economy, and culture, designers, business leaders, and educators can then enact positive social change. To illustrate the harmonious differentiation of these four streams, the double complementary contrasts of Resilient Yellow, Violet Manifestation, Expansive Blue, and Populous Orange were used. For more information, visit: http://www.livingprinciples.org
ENVIRONMENT Actions and issues that affect natural systems, including climate change, resource preservation, carbon footprint and restoration of the natural environment. COLOR NAME: Resilient Yellow
C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
CULTURE Actions and issues that affect how communities manifest identity, preserve and cultivate traditions, and develop belief systems and commonly accepted values. COLOR NAME: Violet Manifestation
C: 66 M: 85 Y: 16 K: 3
ECONOMY Actions and issues that affect how people and organizations meet their basic needs, evolve and define economic success and growth. COLOR NAME: Expansive Blue
C: 92 M: 78 Y: 31 K: 16
PEOPLE Actions and issues that affect all aspects of society, including poverty, violence, injustice, education, healthcare, safe housing, labor and human rights. COLOR NAME: Populous Orange
C: 13 M: 71 Y: 88 K: 2
THE VERSATILITY OF YELLOW
The complexity of yellow can also be translated into versatility. Depending on if and how much black or white might be added to yellow, the saturation of it will ultimately be affected as depicted in the monochromatic color plane on the next page. The tints and shades of yellow mimic greens and browns, which further adds to the argument that yellow should be used to rebrand Sustainability because its natural, earthy hues evoke the feeling of being outdoors. To further understand the versatility of yellow and the inherent properties of yellow, white, and black mixtures depicted in the monochromatic color plane, this workshop will require attendees to recreate the plane using Color Aid paper and Color Aid notation. Without viewing the back of each piece of colored paper, participants will first attempt to construct the plane using only a hierarchy cheat sheet and their field of vision. After ten minutes, participants can then evaluate their progress and rearrange the color swatches, if necessary, to the correct order by referring to the back of the Color Aid paper. Applicable to all colors, this exercise will expose workshop participants to the unique qualities of yellow by strengthening their visual and critical thinking skills about each colors applicability in design.
MONOCHROMATIC COLOR PLANE
LOGO CASE STUDIES
SUBSTITUTING GREEN WITH YELLOW
Using the knowledge gained in Workshop 1 about the color yellow, three case studies will be examined that show the substitution of yellowgreen with Resilient Yellow in symbols and logos. The selection of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo, Sustainable Brands Conference 2012 logo, and recycling symbol to use as case studies is meant to show the versatility of Resilient Yellow in global, national, and local design.
SEEING YELLOW IN NATURE Similar to the logo case studies previously examined, the field studies portion of the conference deals with seeing and admiring yellow as it is found in nature and the human environment. Highlighting the fact that yellow is always present in oneâ€™s life, the following color harmony field studies will reawaken oneâ€™s appreciation and acknowledgment of yellow in nature, proving the statement that Resilient Yellow should rebrand the Sustainability Movement. One example of admiring colors in nature is the found color wheel to the left, constructed with photographs of produce at Whole Foods Market.
ANALOGOUS COLOR SCHEME
Shady Green C: 66 M: 41 Y: 100 K: 30 Yellow is often paired with tints and shades of green and orange in nature, especially during the seasonal transitions of Summer to Fall and Winter to Spring. Each color value gives life to the other sequentially, which illustrates the natural harmony between these three hues. For the purpose of this book, it was important to depict the beauty and energy of yellow in its natural, textured form. From rough tree leaf veins to smooth sunflower petals to soft sunlight, yellow is present in almost every outdoor environment that directly influences plant, animal, and human life.
Sunflower Yellow C: 0 M: 21 Y: 78 K: 0
Autumn Orange C: 12 M: 81 Y: 97 K: 2
TRIAD COLOR SCHEME
TEXTURE STUDY 15
Produce Red C: 66 M: 41 Y: 100 K: 30 Yellow is a member of the primary color triad. Serving as the foundation for all other colors, the adaptability of these value mixtures can always be deduced back to their organic hues red, yellow, and/or blue. The textures of yellow used for this case study depict the natural tints and shades of the hue as they relate to a personâ€™s general lifestyle. From waxed organic produce to wood grain furniture, these natural textures can be found within healthy and leisurely lifestyles of various people.
Yellow Wax C: 3 M: 3 Y: 91 K: 0
Blue Medley C: 75 M: 29 Y: 8 K: 0
ITTEN VISUAL STUDY COMPLEMENTARY CONTRAST
The diluted shades of yellow, pink, and violet in this study illustrate Johannes Ittenâ€™s contrast of complements. Specifically, they depict the juxtaposition of perceptual opposites California Glow and Violet Solitude. Sunset Coral serves as their middle mixture.
California Glow C: 0 M: 7 Y: 75 K: 0
Violet Solitude C: 86 M: 83 Y: 9 K: 45
Sunset Coral C: 0 M: 73 Y: 32 K: 0
ITTEN VISUAL STUDY COLD-WARM CONTRAST
In this study, shades of yellow, blue, and blue-green illustrate Johannes Ittenâ€™s physical and psychological cold-warm contrast. Sandy Yellow reflects the warmth of the sun, and Deep Ocean Haze and Emerald Sea depict the feeling of being by the ocean.
Sandy Yellow C: 6 M: 2 Y: 32 K: 1
Deep Ocean Haze C: 68 M: 35 Y: 17 K: 40
Emerald Sea C: 69 M: 12 Y: 30 K: 36
MONOCHROMATIC COLOR SCHEME
TRANSPARENCY STUDY 19
Resilient Yellow C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0 Analyzing transparency through both a light source and surface, the focus of this study revolved around the idea of light. The color yellow often characterizes lamps, light bulbs, and streetlights in the human environment, just as it characterizes the sun in the natural environment. The perception and symbolic use of light has always related back to the idea of â€œhopeâ€?, and it is such hope that is driving the whole-systems and resilient approach to the Sustainability Movement. The transparent leaf and glass used in this study show how light can either radiate through or upon objects in the human environment, mimicking natural sunlight.
Luminous Coil C: 3 M: 0 Y: 82 K: 0
Iron Mulch C: 45 M: 81 Y: 84 K: 70
WORKSHOP 2 PATTERN DESIGN
Before conference attendees depart from the event, they will have the opportunity to create their own textile design pattern using the important knowledge and skills that they developed throughout the day. Each participant will design a simple motif that relates to the topic of nature or Sustainability, reproduce and orient that shape in multiple directions along a grid, and then digitize both a black and white and color pattern design. Fun, innovative, and challenging, this exercise will encourage those who attend to ignite social change through design. One example of a design motif is the half-circle shape to the right. Designed to mimic half of the Yin-Yang symbol, the versatility of this symbol also mimics natural elements like the earth, water, sky, and sun when oriented or overlapped differently. Emphasizing such flexibility was the goal for creating the black and white pattern design on page 22.
PATTERN DESIGN SECONDARY COLOR SCHEME Intended to represent a sunset, this simple horizontal pattern uses secondary colors to highlight key features of this beautiful experience. Forest Shadow shows the dark landscape, Resilient Yellow and Radiant Orange illustrate the inner and outer glow of the sun, and Luminous Dusk portrays the sky as it transitions from daytime to nighttime.
Luminous Dusk C: 13 M: 31 Y: 3 K: 0
Resilient Yellow C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
Forest Shadow C: 76 M: 40 Y: 100 K: 35
Radiant Orange C: 0 M: 55 Y: 89 K: 0
PATTERN DESIGN TERTIARY COLOR SCHEME
Lively tertiary colors bring life to the once black and white pattern design on page 22. Receding Blue-Violet provides a stark contrast to the warmth of the sun and environment, drawing the viewerâ€™s attention to the dynamic and flexible nature of the symbolâ€™s overall design.
Receding Blue-Violet C: 73 M: 72 Y: 36 K: 20
Orange Unification C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
Reflected Water C: 84 M: 34 Y: 26 K: 1
Resilient Yellow C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
Spring Green C: 59 M: 20 Y: 95 K: 3
Sunburst Red-Orange C: 4 M: 85 Y: 100 K: 0
CLOSING KEYNOTE THE TIME IS NOW
The Sustainability Movement can be characterized as telling people what to do in order to be more “green” or environmentally conscious in attempt to lessen the human impact on the earth. Justified by facts, data, and research, it is a big educational effort to encourage people to “do the right thing” in being more aware of their actions and consumption. However, the phenomenon of Climate Change is already here and societies across the globe are already starting to experience its effects, which will only worsen unless those societies act to sustain themselves and the resources available to them. There is hope for the future, but it will not be an easy adjustment. The idea of hope relates not so much to sustainability, but more towards resilience. Through collaboration and entrepreneurship, people have to be proactive in re-shaping society and its effect on Mother Nature, not just waiting to be told what to do or being lazy until things get so worse that they have to act. There is a sense of social responsibility and ethics that people and businesses must prioritize above profit and greed. There needs to be an examination of the “big picture” (whole-systems thinking), and people need to use the power they have as consumers to transform businesses to do the same. Consumers have choices in what they buy, just as businesses have choices in what they produce. Yet, how informed is each entity in making these decisions? According to Patagonia, 90% of a product’s impact on the environment comes from the design stage. As a designer, this is huge! And as a consumer, knowledge of such production processes, waste,
Resilient Yellow C: 1 M: 23 Y: 100 K: 0
and alternatives would be just as significant. However, not everyone realizes this. This is why the concept of whole-systems thinking is so important, and is the direction Sustainability is headed in. Consumers have the most power to shape society at a global scale, and their collective individual choices could translate into a substantial message that redirects the current path that human society is headed inâ€”one towards doom. Knowing how a product is produced, where it comes from, how it gets to the store, its ability to be recycled, etc. only increases good consumer habits. It takes the focus away from profit and greed, and transitions it to social responsibility. It inspires society as a whole to be more resilient, and therefore gives hope for a better future. As future designers and consumers, everyone shares the responsibility of caring for the natural environment in which they live, and sustaining the resources it provides for future generations. The concept of the Sustainability Movement is not new, it is just shifting focus. As it does so, now is the best opportunity to rebrand it with something that distinguishes it from the Environmental Movement--Resilient Yellow. Radiating energy and exuding inspiration, Resilient Yellow will encourage people to be optimistic about a new world and future based on innovation, knowledge, and ideasâ€”all of which are, again, meanings of yellow. * A special thank you to Deb Johnson, Pratt Instituteâ€™s Academic Director of Sustainability, for sharing key insight into this important yet ever-changing topic of Sustainability and the significance of resilience.
SPONSORS Rice Seed Photo (page 2) http://www.123rf.com/photo_11390589_rice-seed-background.html Recycling Logo (page 11) http://www.epa.gov/productreview/seal-logo/images/recycle1.jpg Sustainable Brands Conference Logo (page 11) http://www.pe-international.com/uploads/pics/sustainable-brands-500.png U.S. EPA Logo (page 11) http://www.fourgreensteps.com/cerwire/images/stories/epa_logo.jpg Strawberries and Blueberries Photo (page 16) http://functionalfoodsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/strawberries-blueberries12.jpg Water Droplets Photo (page 20) http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3417/3206752551_85ba3d71b3_o.jpg Sustainability 101 Information http://reports.parsons.com/sustainability/chair-pillars.html Sustainability/Environmental Movement Information http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_movement Sustainability/Environmental Movement Timeline Information http://southmauisustainability.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/sustimelinelarge.jpg AIGA Living Principles Information http://www.livingprinciples.org Resilience. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved December 01, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/resilience Gillman, R. (1990). Sustainability: The State of the Movement InContext, volume 25, page 10.