Design with a conscience

Published:  July 20, 2011
Design with a conscience

desktop asked two studios, which are known for their eco-focus, to talk about their studio ethos as well as a few recent projects. First up is Sash Fernando from Principle Design (look out for Brad Welsh from One Degree next week).

I like to describe Principle Design as ‘a studio with a conscience’. As a young designer, I headed to New York where I was given the rare opportunity of being mentored by two highly respected designers. Under Milton Glaser, the renowned name behind the instantly recognisable ‘I Love New York’ logo and Michael Bierut of Pentagram Design, I was lucky enough to work alongside industry leaders in creating inspirational and innovative designs.

These experiences opened my eyes to the power of design as a way of communicating with society. The use of art to engage on a social level is something that has interested me ever since.

Birds Australia. Annual Report, Financial Supplement & Bookmarks

Biodiversity Protection Inc. Illustration, Branding, Stationery & Website

Importantly, my New York mentors influenced me to absorb my passion for sustainability into my own work. We as designers have a huge responsibility. We must always be mindful of our obligation when it comes to the environment. Any designed product can be duplicated thousands of times; therefore, it is our  responsibility to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Whether it’s reducing the amount of materials required for production, asking if the product can fulfil more than one purpose, using materials with environmental credentials or even using soy-based inks, these are all considerations that make up our design process.

I firmly believe that as designers we cannot deny the responsibility to educate our clients about the most sustainable options available to them.

Citrus Resources. Illustration & Brochure

Cardia BioPlastic. Eco Bag Design & Packaging Design

It is this way of working that has shaped my vision for Principle Design. The fact that our ethics inform so much of what we do is the reason we included the word ‘Principle’ in our name. We are a young, energetic and forward-thinking studio. Our team is made up of artists with exceptional design skills and a sense of innovation, wanting to change the way things are done for the better and thinking outside the parameters of what is considered normal or acceptable. Our passion for environmental sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we work closely with our clients to consider the impact of design on the environment.

The main challenge for us is creating an environmentally friendly design solution that fits within the client’s brand and, at the same time, has great visual impact.

Our way of working steers us towards clients that share our values. There is a mutual respect that exists, which makes developing these kinds of projects in close conjunction a real pleasure.

Focusing on the environment, education and arts sectors we have strived to help like-minded organisations achieve sustainable success. Environment Victoria,

Melbourne Water, Birds Australia and the United Nations are some of the clients we have worked with. There is a great amount of professional and personal satisfaction in helping them create designs that support the communication of their messages to the wider public and assist in that educational process.

It is our aim not to remain static, but to continue developing and improving our practices, procedures, services and standards to better enable the implementation of sustainable design. Our vision is to be recognised as an industry leader with a social conscience.

The Little Gem. Branding, Website Design & Stationery

DiMase Architects. Digital Folio & Christmas Card

From desktop magazine.

Thumbnail image: Birds Australia. Annual Report, Financial supplement and bookmarks.

3 Responses

  1. Great work Sash! Its fantastic to see you here in Desktop!

    Aaron @streamtime

  2. Good job!
    I think designers should take more responsibility for design which is suitable for our environment as well as our health.
    A really wide scope – we all should follow this example. :)

  3. Tara Murphy

    A great article, with an important message….every bit counts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *