Fast Company

Making Sense Of It All: How to Promote Your Brand While Staying Sustainable

Every evening I come home and walk by a mountain of garbage from my building in this otherwise beautiful neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. It makes me think about my contribution to that, not only on a personal level but a professional one. As owner of a graphic design studio, I know all too well that half of the services we offer involve the design and development of stuff that ultimately ends up in the trash. They're things that are used to promote a product or service. Each one guided through a careful process of design and development. Each one serves it's purpose to deliver a product which will attract and inform the consumer – and then it's discarded.

I believe it's essential that we discover, create, and share ways in which to Promote Sustainably.

Sustain. To nourish, maintain, support, bolster, nurture, or strengthen. The materials we use to promote – everything from branding and print communications to packaging and the web – must obviously, first and foremost, sustain our business. However, they can also support the environment. In Promote Sustainably, we'll explore ways to do both – plus share news and commentary on companies that are adopting similar strategies.

Sustainable design is a powerful business approach. Using this approach, in each stage from concept to development, adds tremendous value to your efforts. Value that will – in this economy – certainly come in handy. These methods will serve you with a more efficient and cost-effective way to communicate your key messages to clients and consumers.

In the next entry, we'll start at the foundation of your visual system......A Sustainable Brand Identity. What is it? Do you have one? Why you need one and simple ways to refresh an old one. In future entries we'll explore: other important elements of your visual brand; eco-friendly print techniques, paper, and ink; plantable packaging; recyclable materials; design techniques and practices; multipurpose promotions; green web hosting; and more. Feel free to share thoughts, tips and resources of your own. By discovering ways to promote sustainably, maybe someday that mountain will be a molehill.

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