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Communicating sustainability with design

Communicating sustainability with design
May 1, 2018 Hannah Bevan
Sustainable packaging

As a design agency specialising in food and drink brands, we’re increasingly tasked with finding effective ways to communicate commitments to sustainability and environmentalism through brands’ logos, messaging and packaging design. So what can you or your design agency do to help get this across?

Transparency

A widespread consumer distrust in the provenance of food and drink is placing pressure on manufacturers to offer complete transparency and disclosures about how, where, when and by whom food and drink products are harvested and made.

Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer says: “Sustainability isn’t a nice-to-have for businesses. In fact, it has become an imperative…[brands] must act quickly to prove their social and environmental credentials and show consumers they can be trusted with the future of the planet and communities”.

Recyclable packaging is a particularly prevelant conversation we’re having with clients. Kingdom & Sparrow’s Brand Director, Sophie Cowles, says “Messaging shouldn’t stop with a recycle logo. Consumers are becoming aware that having a recycle logo on packaging doesn’t necessarily mean you can put it out with your other recycling.

Help consumers understand your stance on sustainability and what they can do with your packaging. Tell them if it’s compostable or plastic free or widely recycled. If it isn’t, be honest. Tell them it’s only recyclable in certain places but you’re working on it. Give suggestions for reuse. Tell them you support a campaign.”

Sustainability packaging design

Sustainable packaging design

The Cornish Seaweed Company are a good example of a brand that we have worked with on bringing sustainable messages into their packaging design.
Protecting the sea and respecting sea life is at the very core of their brand, so it was important our work reflected that.
We used a combination of written messages, bespoke graphic symbols and hand-painted elements to communicate the sustainable nature of the brand – from the natural, organic product and sustainable sourcing, through to their choice of plastic-free biodegradable packaging (the Earthpouch).
Sustainable packaging design
Sustainble packaging design