Sustainable graphic design cannot be possible.
Due to current marketing and ad agencies’ practices and needs, graphic designers have a huge responsibility to contribute to our linear sustainability and overconsumption culture. We are one of those factors whose job is to make products and services look appealing to consumers and therefore encourage this kind of behavior.
It would be unfair to claim that we are alone responsible for our current overconsumption culture. As graphic designers, depending on our roles and expertise, our job is to make things look visually appealing and informative. Despite this, we cannot separate ourselves from the system where that profit from our overusing of the environment’s recourses.
Fossil fuel, fast fashion, and tech companies are our significant employees, so it is hard to sacrifice working with these types of companies when some of our livelihoods depend on them.
The solution isn’t to stop graphic design as a practice. We need as graphic designers in our society to shape and make information more assessable for wider audiences. Our communication needs are changing alongside society’s needs. It would put those who could benefit from new forms of visual communication in jeopardy, like people with disabilities.
As graphic designers, we can use our skill sets and knowledge to help fight against linear economics, overconsumption, and climate change in three (3) ways.
Provide your skillsets to those individuals/organizations/ companies who are committed to spreading knowledge of circular economics and fighting against overconsumption culture.
If your financial situation allows it, stop working with individuals/organizations/ companies who are benefiting from linear economics/overconsumption culture and encourage it.
If your financial situation allows it, stop working with individuals/organizations/ companies who deny climate change and it’s threads to humanity’s existence.
Link to website that contains manifesto: