The Ethics of Design

In an increasingly principle-focused market where the demand for ethical processes is intensifying, it is becoming ever-more important for businesses to not only deliver the best possible service, but to also be seen to deliver it in the most environmentally-friendly and ecological way.

Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains how this growing requirement is translating into the world of design and print, and highlights what businesses can do to ensure they meet the increasing demands of clients for ‘green’ products...

“The claim by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) that a business cannot be responsible without being ethical is one that appears to be rapidly growing in esteem and one which is resonating throughout the business and consumer world.

“In increasingly aggressive markets, companies need to establish a unique selling point that separates them from the competition in the minds of consumers. Being seen as ethical can go a long way in helping businesses build and maintain customer loyalty and help them benefit from a reputation for integrity and best practice.

“When it comes to a company’s image, it is certainly possible to achieve a fantastic brand while also ensuring compliance with ethical policies. For example, we employ the services of printers which are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), and which therefore enables our clients to include the FSC logo on its products and literature, highlighting their commitment to ethical practices.

“We also ensure that all our inks used in printing are vegetable based. Because they are non-toxic, these have a significant positive effect on the environment compared with traditional petroleum inks, and also have the added benefit of producing brighter, more vibrant colours.

“In addition, all the aluminium plates, chemicals and plastic elements we use are collected and reprocessed, our paper and cardboard collected monthly, and our deliveries arranged so as to have the minimum impact on our carbon footprint.

“Customers are increasingly choosing services on the basis that they are ‘green’ and offering such a service is an absolute win-win situation for businesses. Not only are they able to create a great market image, but they are able to do their own bit for the environment and shout about it to their customers.

“As green issues continue to have a significant impact on the way businesses run, Fox Graphics can offer solutions for every business need. For examples and ideas on how your business can benefit from going green, visit www.foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk or call the team on 01260 252264.”


The Power of the Image

In this current market where competition between businesses is greater than ever and where the battle for survival is an increasingly tough one, the way a business presents itself is vital. Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains why a firm’s image is key to its success...

“The claim by David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council, that businesses need to ‘use design or risk failure’ is certainly a strong one, but one that no business can afford to ignore. A business’s visual identity, incorporating everything from its overall brand to its advertising campaigns, is what sets it apart.

“The image is the persona of a business, and having the right one helps a business deliver its messages and values clearly, connect with potential and existing customers, create and strengthen loyalty, and subsequently generate more profit. It is therefore crucial that a business invests time in researching, defining and building its brand before anything else.

“An image really can say a thousand words and image is what ultimately wins the hearts and minds of the public - a fundamental reason why design needs to be integrated into the entire business strategy and continuously reinforced at every opportunity.

“As design continues to have a significant impact on the role of future economies, Fox Graphics can offer creative solutions for every business need. For examples and ideas on how your business can benefit from the power of image visit www.foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk or call the team on 01260 252264.”


RIP to traditional print?

With the development of technology and the increasing popularity of ‘e-magazines’ and ‘e-reads’, many people believe that traditional forms of print are destined for decline. However, the case is not as clear cut as some might think and established forms of media still have their place in modern society.

Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, gives her opinion on the ever-evolving e-debate...

“New technologies, time-precious lives and the increasing awareness of sustainability have led to a significant increase in the popularity of electronic media. With a click of a button, people can now have a newspaper, magazine or glossy brochure delivered to their inbox in seconds.

“Not only convenient and cost-effective, it also allows people to do their bit for the environment, leading many to strive for a ‘paper-free’ society. However, is this beneficial or indeed viable? There is still a fervent argument for the printed page, with a majority still preferring to read from a hard copy publication.

“With groundbreaking technological innovations on the horizon, traditional forms of print may actually be given the boost to grow rather than diminish. Xerox scientists, for example, have invented a pioneering way to develop prints with temporary images, so that paper can be used again and again. This unique idea seems to offer the best of both worlds, not only retaining the printed page, but reducing the amount of environmental waste.

“Also providing flexibility and versatility is the fact that design for printed publications is now converted into PDF for the internet as a matter of course, meaning clients can benefit from both mediums often for the same price.

“It appears that the fall of traditional print has been greatly exaggerated and it still very much has its place in society; it just might have to adapt to keep up...”


Why Quality Print Needn’t Cost The Earth

“Companies have been increasingly looking for ways to cut their environmental footprint, and yet until recently green design options were often lower quality and significantly more expensive. Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains why quality printing no longer needs to cost the earth.” “Most of us like the idea of using sustainable methods within our business. We’ve all at some time used recycled paper and possibly even investigated other bio-products, but it’s always been a decision which needs careful weighing up – on the one hand the benefits of being seen to be green and on the other the need for the end product to be great quality, durable and cost effective.” “Recent developments in the environmentally-sensitive product sector have made that choice easier than ever though and I’ve been impressed with not only the quality of the recycled papers available for commercial printing, but also the reduction in cost – it’s now often only negligibly more expensive to choose the green option which can only be a good thing.” “In addition, the FSC can track paper right from source and let you know exactly where the trees that were used for your corporate brochure have come from. It’s tough for printers to secure FSC status, but we’re delighted to confirm that one of our preferred suppliers is in the final stages of certification so we’ll soon be able to offer this service.” “Inks are now often vegetable based and the chemicals used in the print process are also changing so as a sector we’re becoming much greener. Of course there’s always room for improvement but I for one am now convinced that quality printing can be any colour you choose – even green!”