Sustainability in Graphic Design

Hello, I am conducting research on the topic of sustainability and graphic design for a college course at the University of Minnesota. I would greatly appreciate your time in filling out this simple 10 question survey. It should take less than 5 minutes.

Sustainability in Graphic Design Survey

What does sustainability mean to you as a student of design?
For instance is getting cheap product from China better for the environment than getting a slightly more expensive product from your printer down the street? (Think shipping distances.)
Does it mean paper made from trees in sustainable “forests”?
Does it mean recycled or recycleable product?
Does it mean finding print vendors who practice green initiatives (like having recycling/reclamation programs, energy efficiency, or alternative fuel delivery vehicles?)
Does it mean you are willing to pay sometimes a LOT more for being green? There are a lot of green products I’d be very willing to use, if someone wanted to pay the price. A sheet of recycled milk bottles can run you several hundred dollars. The same size sheet of plastic in PVC will run you under $100.
Do you use product that will last a decade or more but may be difficult to recycle? Or do you use shorter term recyclable materials that have to be replaced more often? Which uses more resources?

If you’re into interior design type of graphics (wayfinding and themed venues such as restaurants and retail fitouts) do you know how to make your graphics qualify for LEED points for your client?

My biggest pet peeve is material waste. When designing do you call the printer to find out what the best yield would be for the material and process you are using? Are you willing to make allowances, such as seams or maybe waiting for another customer to buy the same material so you can run together, to produce the least amount of waste? As a for instance, a small roll of banner material comes 60" wide. You want a 20" wide x 60’ long banner. And you want it seamless. Where do you think the other 40" x 60’ of material goes?

There’s a lot to think about when you say “sustainability.”

BTW I spotted 2 misplaced apostrophes in the questions :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

That questionnaire was more like a phishing expedition. It didn’t really ask the right questions so I didn’t bother with it. But I guess that’s what being a student is. Learning to ask the right questions.

Thanks for the heads up :sweat_smile:


You’re absolutely right about being a student and learning what questions to ask. In fact, this survey is for a class that focuses on professional and technical writing which includes learning to ask the right questions in a survey.

I would appreciate any critiques you may have for the survey questions.

I was about to take the survey, but didn’t see anything related to graphic design in it.

thanks for taking the time to even look at my survey. The survey itself is but a small portion of the over arching research I am doing on the topic of sustainability and design. It is a jumping off point for me to continue my research. That is why they are somewhat general.

Thanks again!

See my first reply. That gives a small portion of what sustainability means to a designer.
Revamp your questions to be more about designers.
And you might get a better response without the personal information questions too. I can understand age, but salary has little to nothing to do with sustainability. It’s all about the clientele.

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