Less Is More With Greener Print

How you print matters.

Green printing starts with the Designer

How can less be more? The way you use print can show more than your advertising message—it can show your organization’s values.

How do you communicate who you are? Sure, we use print and the Internet—every organization spends time and resources to show what they do. Good design can show much more though. When you think about the way you use print, when we’re conscious about how we use resources and their impact, it can be tangible.

As print designers, we understand that even your paper choice communicates a message. The feel of a business card, a sell sheet, a brochure conveys meaning. Paper weight conveys cheapness or quality. So why all the fuss about green print?


To start, just planning for printing needs, instead of rushing at the last minute, helps save time and energy. Better managing what you print and the quantities you use is a good first step. Being intentional about printing less, has dramatic results and effects your costs in a big way. A well thought out marketing plan helps you identify your print needs over long periods of time and that can minimize how often you go to the printer. That alone saves dollars for you and reduces cleanup and shipping.

The cost of printing is all about quantity. Doing the majority of this work in one session, cuts costs. Instead of one job at the printer, plan for a year’s worth. The result is that all your materials will be more cohesive when thought of as a whole.

Greener printing is about simplification, use of materials, less ink, and intentional design.

Brand Identity

Corporate and product identity can incorporate smart use of materials from the onset. A client with a full color logo has to use the four color process (at a minimum) for every piece of collateral they make. Four inks versus two adds up.

For Community Greenhouse Foundation, a non-profit green building consultancy, we were able to print shells in one color, and then add business card info in black, whenever we needed a run. We also printed on recycled, unbleached paper, before it was the in thing to do so, which set our brand apart. At the time the stock cost more to use, but it aligned with our values.


When we designed brochures and collateral for Community Greenhouse Foundation, we first started with unbleached, recycled paper. We opted for two colors instead of full color. And we produced a year’s worth of material in one shot. We liked the look so much, when we built their website, we carried over the style to the web and even saved time in the design process. Branding is often about consistency and integrated marketing is about carrying that over to all your media, print, web, and beyond. For CGF, the first task, designing their business cards and a leave behind brochure, set the tone for their brand.

By Design

And it’s not just about environmental stewardship. As we worked with Brevard Job Link on their annual report we questioned the desire to make their twelve page spread in full color. Printing the bulk of the report in two color shaved costs dramatically, and in an organization funded by the public, it’s important to show cost-consciousness.

The printing process uses all sorts of resources. From paper and ink to the chemicals used up in the process, and last, shipping or mailing. Being intentional about how you print saves you money and reduces materials. Besides being just smart, it shows your organization’s values. Less is more.

Longbow. We can help you print smarter.

Designing and managing print

Contact Us for help with your print.