Sustainable Typography

by Kate Andrews | April 28, 2008

sustainable type fruit

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The concept of “green” typography may seem ridiculous to non-type-nerds and, yes OK, perhaps typography can’t conquer climate change, but it can certainly help communicate it! With these thoughts in mind, I thought it would be interesting to share some recent examples I’ve found of contemporary typography that truly redefine those terrifying visions of green (and tree-shaped) logos!

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The above posters, by Marian Bantjes, Christoph Niemann and Paula Scher, were commissioned by Winterhouse Studios for the Stora Enso sustainability initiative, and have since been accepted into the permanent collection at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Fabulous!

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The graphic design team at Thomas Matthews are so immersed in this field that everything they do with type could be considered ‘sustainable’. However, the logo for sustainability company ‘Beyond Green’ is a personal favourite; a simple, but effective play on colour association.

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When it comes to intelligent logos, Al Gore’s latest WE campaign for The Alliance for Climate Protection has a great logo (yes, I know it’s green), designed by New Yorker Brian Collins.

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It would seem there is a recurring trend regarding contemporary eco-typography. For example, picking up on the Sagmeister-esque hand-made typography, The New York Times Magazine is using the work of sculptural designer Gyongy Laky, for last week’s Green Issue!

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Although not directly intended for sustainability, the hand-drawn ‘Customised Fruit’ by designer Sarah King, certainly made me look twice! Imagine these as printed adverts for organic food!

There are plenty more examples of GOOD sustainable typography, so keep your eyes peeled and I’ll post any updates next month!

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Designer and writer Kate Andrews was the original editor of Notes on Design blog, founded in 2007.

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