Hi I am Karman, a student from BA Graphic Branding and Identity.
This is a year full of challenges for me. I planned to start a new internship in Feb unfortunately it cancelled due to the Covid variant I was not able to be back in London. I was lucky to be recommended by an old colleague to work in Fit&Misfit, a start-up clothing brand in Hong Kong. This is the most challenging internship job. I can join in different parts of works and discussions as this reason I have more chances the reach different professional fields of people and gain experience from them. My employers allowed me to have complete freedom in the design field, as it’s a start-up company they are willing to have a new trial even that seems impossible. In one of the projects we tried to design an online meditation, we used sound and motion graphic on an online store to guide our users to create their own most comfortable pattern for the clothes. We clearly see our societies and general markets are moving to the virtual world due to the pandemic. But before that, we can still observe the trend of virtualising, virtual fittings, VR applications, even virtual banks. As a graphic designer these are challenging me how to cross the line from physical to virtual. When I design my artworks the material is one of the important parts of the presentation but now it’s hard to display while virtualised. My internships experience provided me with some new opportunities to satisfy the virtual markets. To assist the fashion and textile designers is a part of my job, they have the knowledge of garment and fabrics and I know how to play with the patterns and visual. One of my colleague who worked in the art industry for over 10 years, he has a different perspective to treat artworks. As a design student I was only know how to design something’s eye-catching, I never think about how to let the artworks be influential to our societies, and that really makes me reconsider ‘what is design’.
Sylvain Boyer, French graphic designer, initiated an Ecobranding campaign - redesign the logo with hollow design to reduce the amount of ink used by about 10% to 40% worldwide. Every design decision has a great impact on the environment even if the change is subtle, the effect of saving resources is still significant. A logo will be printed tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of times, a change has a great contribution to the ecology and economy of the earth. Reducing the amount of printing ink is not only beneficial to the ecological environment but saves corporate expenses. According to Consumer Reports, the price of printing ink per ounce ranges from US$13-75.
Considering the brand recognition, popular and traditional brands may be difficult to abandon their original logo for environmental reasons. Tom Rickner, director of Monotype Studio thinks it is problematic to implement environmentally friendly logo. He pointed out that the concept of reducing the lines and ink consumption of trademarks has long existed. Monotype's early newspaper printing emphasized the readability of words. In addition to the balance between the two, the brand’s reputation must also be considered in brand design. The design, colour and imagery of the font itself are one of the main elements to establish a brand’s reputation, for environmental protection The above conditions must be considered when changing the trademark design due to factors.
It may be difficult for major brands to change their logo; fonts are also an important element in design though. Hollow fonts and hollow trademark designs can also greatly reduce the amount of ink. London advertising agency Grey and stationery brand Ryman also collaborated to design the free font Ryman Eco. For printing purposes, compared to popular fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, and Verdana, using Ryman Eco fonts can reduce ink usage by up to 30%. Dan Rathigan, the designer of Ryman Eco, said: "Ryman Eco's design concept based on the concept of environmental protection, hoping to reduce the amount of ink by reducing the area of printed letters." The use of hollow fonts for printing purposes other than trademarks is more attractive to companies. The development space is relatively larger.
Sustainability is without doubt one of the significant focus to businesses in the UK, we can see a gradually mature development tendency, however, there is still relatively in its infancy in Hong Kong. This is the first time I’ve been back to the workplace in Hong Kong after 2 years, I can see the grow of sustainability of businesses is becoming unpredictable. Sustainability seems a new concept and growing sluggishly. Meanwhile, Sustainability being an important topic of new and young enterprises. Review my internship job in Fit&Misfit, be sustainable is one of the major goal. As a clothing brand they deeply know how fast fashion affects the environment. We released a scheme that we encouraged our customer to bring their own clothes and we helped them redesign it. This is a totally new concept to me and really impressed me. Not only Fit&Misfit, I saw lots of young enterprises put the effort on sustainability and trying so hard to find the balance between design and environmental protection. This inspired me as a graphic designer how can I implant sustainability into my futures design. Like the example I mentioned, hollow logo design reduced ink consumption by reducing the area of printing, I guess this will be one of the direction when I am working on things about sustainability. Plastics succeeded in changing the way of life of human beings because of the low-cost nature of plastics, but they laid the groundwork for the climate crisis years later. The Ecobranding campaign definitely a perfect reference to promote sustainability in Hong Kong as now we know to reduce the amount of printing ink is not only beneficial to the ecological environment, but also saves corporate expenses, this is a huge benefit to businesses.
Ecobranding – Branding with Eco-design
Consumer Reports – The High Cost of Wasted Printer Ink