Visual Communications

For the past couple of years at New Designers, Sky Creative has presented its Green Award to the graduate who best demonstrates how ecological and environmental issues can be efficiently addressed.

With greater availability of eco-friendly materials and techniques that don’t add to the ozone layer, it is encouraging to see designers embracing the traditional processes of yesteryear. However, the fun really starts when their results are thrust into the many digital domains, fusing technologies and creating exciting, sometimes unexpected results.

Our successful graduate, Rheannon Cummins, not only used these traditional techniques, but explored them further, discovering that using natural blue inks rather than black has significant environmental benefits. And just as with food produce, using local suppliers and manufacturers cuts out heavy transport costs with reduced pollution. But probably more encouraging was the protection this provided to local skills and services that supported the community and the dying crafts.

I suppose that as well as increased awareness of sustainable production, the most exciting trend that have brought a big smile to my face is the apparent new discovery of hot metal type and even old boxwood display fonts. Not solely confined to print media, their use was evident across a broad range of disciplines.

So my summary of trends focuses on awareness of environmental impact, the growing interest in traditional crafts that support local communities and the dilution of platform barriers across the many areas of visual communication.

Also, I suppose, laser-cutting must be getting a lot cheaper and you can no longer find old Johnson developing tanks in charity shops.

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