April 2nd, 2008
I think we might, hence I designed these tote bags (Yes, 100% organic and pricey as hell) for our clients as a holiday gift this past December that read ‘If I hear the word ‘Green’ one more time I swear I will switch back to plastic’ on them. In my hobby-occupation of a photographer, my (then) agent urged me to switch my frames to 100% sustainable as she was promoting ‘the greening of fine art’. It would be a big hit, she suggested. It rubbed me wrong. Why would I create and sell a strictly limited photographic print (which in itself is not ‘recycleable’) with the thought of making it into fertilizer? Don’t we have to stop somewhere and make priorities, like combining errands when taking the car or using less paper during the work day? But does a photographer really need to lower the overall quality and vision by having the framing material be made out of hemp instead of wood? I don’t think so.
The same question came up within my team at Geyrhalter Design. We have always been a forerunner in the belief that ‘doing good means good business’. That motto was put into full effect when we joined ’1% For The Planet’, giving 1% of our profit back to NonProfit Organizations that help protect our environment, but it was also reflected in simple office purchases and a strict recycling policy, as it was always important for me to talk the talk, and walk the walk. That’s when we raised the question about our business cards.Our cards won a whole lot of awards and we receive love letters about them on a weekly basis, not to mention the countless ‘how’ and ‘where’ questions when it comes to the printing process. They embody our brand in a very unique and successful way and what makes them even more special is that – and here is the issue – they are made out of plastic. A very unique printing process, where we lay several layers of ink on a completely transparent sheet of plastic. It’s truly amazing being on press when they are printed to such detail. It’s also a commitment to our brand since each card ends up costing $1.30 in the end.
All that said, there is one thing our cards are not: they are far from ‘green’. As we sat in the office one afternoon and I brought up the fact that i feel Geyrhalter Design is not walking the walk, it started a heated and productful discussion that resulted in the same conclusion I made earlier about sustainable frames for high-end art: ‘No one would trash that card, it really is a unique piece of art, something to hold on to’, someone said, and all nodded.
A mind set that works until the next print run of cards, where we will find a way to make them more environmentally friendly. By a kick-butt design, but also a more sustainable material choice. Until then we will ensure the ones who receive our $1.30 card won’t trash them.