Eco Friendly Design Practices

The environment has been under more threat today than it has ever been. Natural resources are steadily declining and the ecosystems are under scrutiny. Establishing more eco-friendly practices is actually often less costly than many assume; it just takes a little creativity and thinking outside the box. Here are some innovative ways for business owners to get the desired designs and the marketing results at an affordable price, that represent your brands commitment to a responsible cause.




A great 1st step your business can take toward becoming more eco-friendly marketing, is to use digital branding and advertising campaigns.  Examples of this include websites, digital business directories, evites, and the use of social media for building communities. These options have international reach, and in the current electronic age, have proven to be more effective than direct mail campaigns. Direct mailers have lower response rates and have higher cost due to printing and rising mailing expenses. Online readership is increasing year by year, and your tweets and posts are free. So design digital campaigns for the online communities.

During the design process, there may be many rounds of proofs and revisions before you approve your finals. With an environmentally conscious mindset, your graphic designers can present preliminary proofs in digital or paperless forms, and when deciding on how to present the final ideas that same designer should present you with options that are less burdensome on the environment. Using recycled papers or biodegradable materials is an easy alternative, especially when combined with cost reducing options and techniques.


A great example of this: Given a typically tight budget to produce a catalog, two University of Illinois design students assumed that recycled paper would be cost prohibitive. But using innovative techniques, they discovered that if they trimmed just 1″ off the book height they would save around 1,000 press sheets. This saved them $3,000, allowing them to specify a high quality, 100% recycled, FSC-certified paper. With a little design thinking, they saved 9,717 gallons of water, 13 million BTUs of energy, 942 pounds of solid waste and avoided 2,255 pounds of greenhouse gases. (source:

Some best practices for greener print design includes these positive steps:

  1. Reduce the amount of paper and other materials used overall by designing smaller pieces.
  2. Reduce wasted paper and other materials through clear decision-making during production.
  3. Replace wood fiber papers with agri-fiber papers when doing so is regionally and environmentally preferable.
  4. Aim for 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper.
  5. Use vegetable-based, low-VOC inks on press.
  6. Stick to digital printing for shorter runs.
  7. Avoid additives or excess finishing like foil stamps, varnishes, and laminates.
  8. Design the piece for extended use, or intentional reuse.
  9. Let others know about the eco-friendly aspects of the product. This increases awareness while your product is organically being valued and promoted.

To create a greener printed piece, use your socially and environmentally responsible Ashalla designer and preferred local print vendors.


Tribute #5 Designer LeRoy Winbush

LeRoy Winbush (1915-2007)



LeRoy Winbush was a great design pioneer who would open the door for many other black designers to follow. Mr. Winbush started out designing signage, murals and flyers for the Regal Theater. There he met various performers including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Music had a great impact on his work and he later designed album covers for the Ramsey Lewis Trio and many other groups who were signed to Mercury Records. He was the first black member of the Art Directors Club of Chicago. Five years after he was accepted he became the president of the organization. He was the art director for all of the Goldblatt’s stores and he also became a very accomplished airbrush illustrator.

Winbush eventually founded his own firm called Winbush Associates. The name was later changed to Winbush Design. He was also the art director for Johnson Publishing where he designed layouts for magazines including Ebony and Jet. At one point he also taught visual communications at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and typography at Columbia College Chicago. Mr. Winbush had discovered other outlets for his design expertise which included exhibit design. Winbush helped design the Illinois’s exhibit at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This exhibit included Abraham Lincoln, which was the prototype for Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. Winbush believed that he could use design as a tool to help the black community. The AIGA national board refers to Winbush as being a great motivator for designers of color. LeRoy Winbush won the 2008 AIGA medal, which only reflects his extraordinary work.



Ashalla attended CACCIs 2014 Power Breakfast

Eric AdamsIt was a very inspiring day, as small business leaders from all over Brooklyn gathered at the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.(CACCI) annual Power Breakfast at Borough Hall. The event, which was held on Thursday, December 17, allowed attendees to catch up with old friends while connecting with new ones.

Dr. Hastick started the event by inspiring CACCI members to always give back to their communities and to have faith when taking steps with their businesses even when they don’t see the whole staircase. It was truly a powerful event with speakers such as Brooklyn’s new Borough President; Eric Adams and New York City Comptroller; Scott Stringer.

In honor of  Matin Luther King Day, the event ended with each member of the audience reflecting and giving thanks to people who have influence and impacted their life and careers. The CACCI breakfast was not only a gathering of powerful business leaders, but of a group of people who encouraged and supported each others success. Ashalla looks forward to successful years working with this talented  group of people and the CCACI organization.