What is a Sustainable Graphic Designer?

flat lay of green design tools of the trade

Written by Nancy

Jan 4, 2019

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my first ever blog post. WHOOP WHOOP!

I plan to use this space to share sustainable design ideas, to inspire, and educate brands who seek to be more earth-friendly, so that together we can clean up our planet.

I want to kick it all off by clarifying what is a Sustainable Graphic Designer?

“We can’t consume our way to a more sustainable world.” – Jennifer Nini –


It’s no secret that we live in a consumerist world and often purchase based on wants not needs. Trends are constantly changing and advertising, billboards and magazines bombard us with messages to make us want more and be “better”. 

Graphic designer’s, brand owners and marketing teams play a big role in contributing to consumerism by creating messages that make people want to buy. Graphic deisgner’s create eye catching packaging, emotive branding and compelling advertising to help brands sell their products and messages. 

A designer friend of mine once said.

“I saw something I designed rolling down the road and it made me realise, I create beautiful garbage.”

YIKES! As a designer myself (just out of university at the time) the reality of this sat heavy on me. It left me contemplating, what kind of designer did I want to be? What brands and companies did I want to align myself with and what messages did I want to put out into the world? 

It took quite a few years of working, learning, reading about alternative packaging materials and following brands and organisations who were doing great things. And, in 2019, I finally opened my green design studio, Nancy J Design and began my journey as a Sustainable Graphic Designer.

What is a Sustainable Graphic Designer?

I believe graphic designer’s have a unique opportunity to use our problem solving skills and design abilities to offer better ways to package and sell products. As a sustainably minded graphic designer, environmental impact is always at the core of my design decisions. My goal is to help brands send smarter messages and design less wasteful packaging, so that we can change how we consume and interact with products. 

In it’s simpliest form, a Sustainble Designer is a designer who uses processes, materials and circular design thinking to help reduce environmental impact.

The sustainability space is constantly evolving and requires both brand owners and designers to keep up with changing regulations, materials and innovations. It can be a confusing and overwhelming space to navigate. My mission is to make it easy for more brands to be eco-friendly by doing the hard work for you. I’ve spent years reading and learning so you don’t have to. I can also make things look pretty! 🙂

Here are a few things you can expect when working with me: 

  • Ethical & sustainable values run deep at my core
  • I always work wth eco-conscious suppliers, printers and contractors
  • My design decisions are driven by reducing environmental impact
  • I am continually learning and keeping up to date with new materials, innovations and sustainable regulations
  • I offer a holistic approach and always look at individual design projects with a wide lens and offer recommendations for the brand’s bigger goals


So this is where it begins!

Follow me here for more sustainable brand and packaging inspiration. 

Sustainably yours,


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