Graphic design has a sustainability problem. We’re part of this problem, and we’re working to do better and create fundamental change in our industry.

The Problem

The graphic design industry creates an inordinate amount of pollution. We celebrate package designs that are designed to end up in a landfill (but often end up in the ocean instead). The servers that run our websites and apps gobble up fossil fuels at an ever-increasing rate. By putting egregious amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, our work accelerates climate change which disproportionately affects low-income and BIPOC communities. 

The planet is on fire, the oceans are acidifying, and things are going to get much, much worse. But smashing your keyboard isn’t the answer to the problem. At the intersection of culture and commerce, designers are in a position of tremendous power and influence. And there’s a small but growing chorus of design studios, freelancers, and organizations working to create a paradigm shift in the industry. We need to do more, we need to do better, and we need to start now.

Sustainable Design Process

Our method encompasses rethinking how we approach the design of physical goods—including questioning their necessity—by starting at the end of a product’s lifecycle and designing in reverse. We thoroughly research materials, processes, and emerging technologies in order to understand and mitigate each project’s environmental footprint.

Sustainable Web Design

The internet uses an enormous amount of energy, much of which comes from fossil fuels. For most sites we build (including this one), we use a host here in California called Viridio. It’s the only host we could find that’s 1) based in North America, 2) directly powered by renewable energy (not through offsets, which are problematic), and 3) offers VPS options (not just shared hosting).

The Office of
Ordinary Things