// NOVEMBER 2013 ÂŁ5
Founded in 1963, Icograda (the International Council of Graphic Design Associations) is a voluntary assembly of organisations concerned with graphic design, visual communication, design management, promotion, education, research and journalism. Icograda promotes communication designers’ vital role in society and commerce and unifies the voices of graphic designers and visual communicators worldwide.
The vision, mission and core values of the council are collectively embodied in the statement ‘leading creatively’ and manifested through our Members’ diverse activities to use design as a medium for progressive change. Communication design is an intellectual, technical and creative activity concerned not simply with the production of images but with the analysis, organisation and methods of presentation of visual solutions to communication problems.
The Icograda Foundation was established in 1991 for the advancement of worldwide understanding and education through the effective use of graphic design. This effective use of graphic design also influences sustainable design which is designing without negative environmental effects. Sustainable design encourages the use of renewable resources; renewable resources, social, economic, and ecological sustainability. The sustainability discipline is as follows, to show quality but durability, to design for reuse and be recyclable, energy efficient, low impact material with renewability.
Table of Contents
First Things First Manifesto by Rick Poynor
Working with Values by Collins Taâ€™eed
Zappo by Chrishard Landgraf
Sustainable Design by Susan Rictey
Debating Design Integrity by Sara Curtis
Turn Around by Michael Hardt
Cause and Effect: Why now, more than ever, the non-profit world needs design and vice versa by DK Holland
Cause and Effect: Design for Social Causes by Jacques Langes
FIRST THINGS FIRST MANIFESTO
A design manifesto published jointly by 33 signatories in: Adbusters, the AIGA journal, Blueprint, Emigre, Eye, Form, Items fall 1999 / spring 2000 Foreword by Chris Dixon, Adbusters Introduction by Rick Poynor
Signed by: Jonathan Barnbrook Nick Bell Andrew Blauvelt Hans Bockting Irma Boom Sheila Levrant de Bretteville Max Bruinsma SiĂ˘n Cook Linda van Deursen Chris Dixon William Drenttel Gert Dumbar Simon Esterson Vince Frost Ken Garland Milton Glaser Jessica Helfand Steven Heller Andrew Howard Tibor Kalman Jeffery Keedy Zuzana Licko Ellen Lupton Katherine McCoy Armand Mevis J. Abbott Miller Rick Poynor Lucienne Roberts Erik Spiekermann Jan van Toorn Teal Triggs Rudy VanderLans Bob Wilkinson and many more
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it. Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The professionâ€™s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best. Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak,
think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse. There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help. We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design. In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.
WORKING WITH VALUES
s a freelancer newly started in the design business, I’ve been on the receiving end of many such a comment from helpful, if somewhat jaded friends and co-workers. The perception of business as a sphere of life where values are not just out of place but in fact detrimental to success is a surprisingly persistent one. Call me naive but I don’t agree. There is no reason why values should not be a part of a business strategy, particularly that of a design business. As designers we find ourselves in a field rife with loose ethics. Having worked for the last year in the property advertising industry I can personally testify to the sorts of subtle deceit and exaggerations that we perpetuate every day in our work for what are all too often products, services and ideas of no particular benefit to anyone. Applying a system of values and ethics in your design practice is almost certainly something you ve thought about at some point or another, probably in some hypothetical question relating to doing work for a cigarette manufacturer, oil company or the like. However I think a fuller more complete approach is necessary. In this article I’ve briefly examined a few of the issues that all designers should seriously consider. Choosing Projects from an Ethical Standpoint Touched on in many a university course and perhaps the most obvious ethical issue in the creative industries, this can be quite a dilemma for the struggling agency. In my own experience I was once approached to produce a string of adult sites
This is the real world, there are no friends in business, it’s all about the bottom line complete with all the latest bells and whistles and with the prospect of a very large sum of money. I immediately said ‘yes, lets have a meeting!” but as the day proceeded my conscience started to kick in. I tried to convince myself that as long as I wasn’t creating the content I could stay neutral, and that if I didn’t do the job somebody else would. In the end, though, I decided I couldn’t feel right about it and called the whole thing off. While not everyone might feel the same way about adult sites, it’s important to have some general guidelines as to the sort of projects you think are ethically sound. The hard part is sticking to them no matter how much money is waved in front of you. It’s tempting to give in to the money, or the alluring idea that it doesn’t really make a difference what you do, but for your own sake, be prepared to take a stand on issues you care about and to draw the line on projects which you think detrimental to society. In the end, the global community is made up of nothing more than individuals making small decisions every day, but its these decisions that affect us all. As a designer you have a lot of power held in your hands. You have the power to make almost anything seem desirable or even essential, to change the way people see whats around them. This may sound exaggerated, but consider how important Hitler saw
Here are some examples of the sorts of projects I personally would stay away from. This is by no means a definitive list, but some areas our practice chooses to avoid: • • • • •
Anything detrimental to the environment Overfishing, uranium mining, etc. Gambling, Cigarettes, Alcohol X-rated adult projects Marketing aimed squarely at children for products which have little real benefit Companies on the global offenders list (companies that use child labour in the making of their wares, take advantage of developing countries, or grow genetically modified ingredients)
his propoganda ministry. It was paramount to his success in getting Germany to its pre-WW2 attitudes. While you will doubtless never be involved in anything so overtly wrong, you should bear in mind the implications your work has the potential to have.
Huge budgets are made off the back of child labour or shoddy environmental practices
I have been amazed by how many creatives have sung the praises of certain multinationals for their huge budgets and creative thinking without a minutes thought to where this money is coming from. These companies can often seem like a dream client, until you realise that their huge budgets are made off the back of child labour or shoddy environmental practices. Creating value, not just making money This is by far the most subtle issue and involves a bit of mindshift. When considering your business it is very tempting to think of everything in terms of the bottom line, to measure success only in monetary terms. Now I am by no means saying you should forget that aspect of business, particularly if you want to last out the year. However there is more to what you are doing than just bringing in money, there are a variety of benefits that
gaining experience and living off ASD, and there are clients who have a relationship and rely on the ASD team and so on. Taking this to its logical conclusion means thinking of a business as an entity interconnected with those around it. Rather like a parent might provide for their family, in the same way a business provides for its employees and clients. My own agency Good spends a significant amount of money for web hosting every year. While we on-sell much of that hosting we also provide free hosting for organisations who we think shouldn't have to pay, or put another way, who have better uses for that money. Thus our agency is providing a service to the community and regardless of its profitability has created value. Free Pitching Every design practice is called on at some
you and your business will be providing for those around you. The best way to illustrate this idea is with an example. Imagine a hypothetical business, lets call it Anderson & Sculthorp Design (ASD) with ten employees in various capacities. Now even if ASD were
time or another to provide a free pitch for a job. You know the story, great client, big project, you could really use the cash flow, but they have asked for some ideas and mocks up front - for free.
to only be just breaking even every year the business would still have value, and I'm not referring to the business assets. There are ten people whose livelihood is provided, who are
It may seem harmless enough, especially if you get the job, but what you are doing is effectively crippling the design industry. Every time an agency pitches for free they are
Inset: Child labouring in Bangladesh
creating the impression that design is cheap and that it's not really necessary to pay for their or any other design agency's time.
â€¨The key factor to remember is that in virtually any print job, there will be a run of thousands of copies, so a small change will make a large difference. It may cost slightly more (though certainly not always), but you can simply pass this cost on to the client, explaining the reasoning. If you aren t proposing anything outrageous and they are a reasonable sized client, they will more than likely accept, no sweat off your back and you can sleep better at night knowing youâ€™ve made a contribution.
maybe he's a good guy, maybe he's you. We all hope that once the guy gets there he'll make his own decision, but this stuff works, so it seems he doesn't. Why do sports cars have half naked women draped over them? Why do they then sell so well? We are all so much easier to fool than we'd like to admit. The point is, advertising is all well and good, but you should always use your best judgement in marketing products and services and keep things in check, exactly the way I didn't.
Sustainable Materials Interesting designs and formats with unusual materials are probably the highlight of print work. However, its important to bear in mind
Telling it like it is Now we all know that advertising is about glossing over a product's failings and focusing on its strengths and this is a great way to market things. Occasionally however advertising falls into the domain of outright lies. I once built a website for a property development billed as being the ultimate in design and location. The property itself,
Ethically Sound These few points are just the tip of the iceberg, and there will be issues that you believe in as an individual more than others. But hopefully the distinctions that we at Good believe in have got you thinking. If our businesses are ethically sound, we will have a more prosperous community.
when choosing stocks, sizes and materials the environmental cost of what you are doing. There are a variety of things you can do in this regard too, for example choosing recyclable materials over non-recyclable, biodegradable over non-biodegradable, keeping paper sizes
a perfectly ordinary looking building in an ordinary location near an airport with planes constantly flying overhead. Now I dutifully went about my job and listening to the client went about cropping images in such a way as to only highlight parts of the building, zooming
relatively standard to prevent huge wastage in offcuts, selecting a printer or manufacturer that has a commitment to the environment and so on.
in on the view of the coastline to make it seem closer and so on. Who loses out in such a scenario? The average guy on the street who is out buying a home. Maybe he's a bad guy,
No other service based industry provides a sample of their services for free. Have you ever been to a mechanic who said they'd do an oil check for free in the hope that you'd get them to permanently service your car? or how about a doctor who gave you your first visit to see if the "relationship gelled"? Of course not, but this is the sort of thing that design agencies do all the time, and unfortunately clients ask for constantly. By all means show your portfolio, chat to the client, give costings and quotes, but don't work for free.
ZAPPO SUSTAINABILITY BEER COASTER
Design and Sustainability
form and aesthetics subject and function semantics
Good Design Sustainability
Design Repertoire physical and intellectual resources, tools/aids
Innovation usage production accessibility material technologies intelligibility
ecological, economic and social factors
design function production use reuse disposal
analysis concept development design management implementation and verification
Printing and Sustainability
paper printing ink number of copies/print run
Reduce Material Adapt to Product’s Life Cycle
material printing finishing protection
choice of paper recycled materials printing ink 10 finishing
Reduce Energy Consumption choice of paper routes of transport printers finishing
Production Processes optimize the workflow avoid mistakes ideal cooperations regional collaboration
deinking, make materials easy to separate and reuse
With this coaster, sustainability becomes a Printing and handy, easy to understand, constant companion. Sustainability zappo-berlin.de It allows you topaper immediately analyze, evaluate printing and improve any projectink during a meeting with number of copies/print run clients or partners. The coaster helps you to Reduce Material have an open, goal-oriented discussion and encourages you to find alternatives in design Adapt to Product’s and printing. These 85 square centimeters of Material Replace Life Cycle cardboard show all the important issues and choice of paper material all factors that need to be considered in arecycled materials printing printing ink finishing designer’s work and its subsequent 2 4 6 realization. 8 10 finishing protection How does that work? the help of the radar or spider chart  Recyclability ReduceWith Energy it is easy to evaluate and compare a product Consumption deinking,
choice according of paper to certain criteria. For printing and make materials routes of transport easy to separate design we haveProduction devised six Processes main criteria each. printersAnd each of them is defined by further points and reuse optimize the workflow finishing avoid mistakes of action. So now you can quickly navigate the ideal cooperations areas of sustainable design and sustainable regional collaboration printing with little effort. “Design and Sustainability” facilitates the complex, process-oriented approach to design. It is the basis for the way in which a modern designer works. It is important to remain openminded and to constantly broaden your horizon, for applying the principles successfully to your work. “Printing and Sustainability“ focuses on the environmentally friendly production. Of course you need a thorough knowledge of materials, technologies and processes. The search for alternative options is at the center of both “Design and Sustainability” and “Printing and Sustainability“. How does it actually work? You rate each criterion on the concentric circles (1 = worst to 10 = best), i.e. how well a solution meets or should meet a criterion. This can be based on an objective analysis or your subjective assessment. You need to mark each solution with a different color and connect each point of a color with a straight line. The result gives you rating profiles for each solution. Do not forget to include solutions already realized. Solutions with lines furthest from the center are better than those with lines closer to the origin. The area itself has no meaning as it is defined through the individual weighting of various(?) criteria. This process should be iterative. You should constantly strive to find an even more sustainable solution. And it’s actually quite fun to do! Try it. Christhard Landgraf © 2012, zappo, Berlin
The Sami have a nice picture to describe the view on the future: There is a lot of truth in it - philosophically. Practically I have never seen a Sami going backwards. They look forwards to avoid getting lost in the woods or destroy the traces of the reindeer. Of course nobody can see the future, but one can estimate it. This estimating process is called a scenario, building on a statistical evaluation. The result is called a trend, a projection of an existing direction within society into the future, basing on mathematical and statistical calculations. Trend is not another word for fashion and a trend cannot be made; it can only be made usable. A mega-trend is a long-term projection of the social development. As designers, we have to be aware of the trend, follow the development and translate it into visible items. Example: The public discussion is dealing with the new media. Politicians discuss legal action against data pirates, downloading music illegally. Copyright laws break down worldwide. The big record companies have a dramatic loss of sales due to the pirates. Innovative and successful products today are small high-tech devices that ensure permanent access to the individual and social information network. People don't want to buy a CD with 25 songs just because they like one. They like to sample their own individual music program. And they want to listen to their own music wherever and whenever they want. While the music industry called for legal action and politicians began to prepare steps to reduce freedom, Apple assumed that the intention of people is not to do something illegal, but to use the possibilities of new technologies. So their answer was to make downloading legal, easy and affordable.
iTunes and iPod are product developments basing on trend research and decisions following changing consumer behaviour. iTunes had 100 million legal downloads within 3 months. All of a sudden the future of the music industry looks bright again, even brighter than before. They have made the step from a material product to an immaterial product. Designers play a major role in heating up mass consumption and we complain about this capitalistic world - but we helped to make it. We can also play a role in shaping a new and hopefully better world. It is not a secret that if we continue our mass consumption and throw-away mentality we will have used up most of the world's resources within less than 50 years. Society has to learn to save as many resources as possible. If we could manage to use half of what we use today, we would gain time to find new technologies and materials. Maybe. The era of industrialised mass consumption is on decline. A new mega-trend is coming up but the trend lines have not crossed yet. Experts expect this to happen within the next 5 to 10 years. A change in mega-trend happens once or twice in a century, and we have the privilege to experience such a change: The trend of immaterial mass use. The market structures and routines are not developed yet. But as you can see in the example of iTunes, it is under rapid development. This trend will change the design profession as well. The key-word is: Sustainable Design: Until today, a designer is paid to produce the prototypes for the industrial production of communication products. The vast majority of our jobs is connected to marketing and aims at selling more products. Even if you illustrate a children book, the interest of the publisher is to produce a material product that attracts
clients to buy it and provides a return in investment. One can look at design from a more idealistic and ethical point of view to see the cultural importance, the artistic aspect. You might not like to hear this but designers often overestimate the importance of this cultural aspect. The majority of our clients see us as executive staff in the preproduction stage of a project to improve the sales. In most of the cases today the designer is not asked to communicate a message. We are commissioned to design a CDcover, a catalogue, a brochure, a corporate identity, an illustration for a book, a packaging: Material products. Let's imagine 2 possible scenarios of our future as visual communication designers. Scenario 1: Imagine a global furniture distributor asking you to design their next catalogue: 320 pages, format 210x250, CMYK, 100 million issues, split in 20 regional issues and languages, including Chinese. Fee for the design per page 1 000 Euro. Design of the regional versions 500 Euro per page. Total 3.52 million Euro. What if you find out that the project would look better with 40 pages more? Ask for 440 000 Euro more! More pages, more work, more money. Scenario 2: The same client comes up to you and asks you to design their new product communication concept. So far they had a catalogue with 320 pages, format 210x250, CMYK, 100 million issues, split in 20 regional issues and languages.
As total design-fee they offer 3.5 million Euro. For every page you need less without loosing communicational impact you get a bonus fee of 10 000 Euro! For every page more your fee will be reduced for 10 000 Euro. Would you propose the additional pages of scenario 1 because the design would look better? Imagine you would save all those pages because you would find a new way of getting the message to the reader - would this be a bad deal for your client? Why would someone be interested in offering such a project where you get more for doing less or less for doing more? The answer is simple: The client would save a lot of money because of your intelligent proposal. Less paper, less printing costs, less weight to transport, less petrol for trucks. The savings would be millions of Euros. Forests would not be cut and petrol would not be spoiled. Time, energy, resources and money would be saved but, on the other hand, you would be responsible for printers losing work, paper mills closing, and truck-drivers becoming unemployed.
How could you solve the issue? You need to analyse the communication process: What is important and relevant? What part of the message can be taken out without losing information? How can we use existing media in a more sophisticated way? Identify weaknesses and look for possibilities to improve the process and reduce costs. This is part of the design project to be visualised, documented and presented to the client. Visualising processes is an important and growing field of activity within our profession [information design].
You will be able to visualise that the weak points of the process are:
design sustainable we have to leave the product orientation and become process oriented.
a. the dissemination of the catalogue b. the waste of information and material
Sustainability means to avoid production. So we have to put the focus on the process. It is not the media that counts but the communication. We design visually perceived communication.
A consumer who wants to buy new furniture for the sleeping room because he moves together with his girlfriend might not yet be interested in information about children's furniture at this stage.â€¨
Communication is a process, not a product.
It takes time to transport the product to the consumer and the catalogue as such has a given lifespan of actuality, including the need to fix prices over this period. If the transport of the information could happen online, many problems would be solved.â€¨ But some simply want the good old catalogue.â€¨Why not make this printed catalogue a beautiful book of inspirations, sold via Amazon or available in the client's stores, with a link to a pricelist with technical data online? Instead of incurring costs, you could generate new income. I guess that an issue of 1 million would be considered as a bestseller. And it can be organised to be printed just-in-time, printing on demand. The problem is to assure that the consumer can print out the additional facts he wants with his own facilities: Decentralised printing on demand. If you come up with such a proposal you must be well prepared and have good arguments. To change old habits takes an effort. You will have more enemies than friends. Unfortunately visual communication designers in general are not seen as competent to design the communication process and the emphasis of the design education has so far been more product- than processoriented. If we want to contribute to the new trend and make