I noticed today that the acronym I am using for this site, BLTS, can be easily misconstrued as something different … This epiphany came to me while working on some different versions of a Better Living Through Sustainability identity update. I had a giant BLTS up on my screen, trying to figure out something clever to do with it, when my girlfriend, Nancy, walked by and said “I love those.” I of course then said, “what, my website?” And Nancy said, “no, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches.”

One Tear

So, Sustainability for Graphic Designers ended up getting canceled due to lack of interest. This has ended up being fine, as I have a ton of work to do, but I was looking forward to discussing the issues on my mind with a room of others. Instead, along with all the client work, I'm working on some updates to a presentation I gave last month at the AIGA response_ability conference about vernacular principles and how to apply them to contemporary sustainable design. Check back in the near future for links to the R_A stuff, as well as my updated materials.

Sustainability for Graphic Designers


I'm teaching a class at MICA over the summer—as long as enough people sign up—called “Sustainability for Graphic Designers.” Here is the course #, time and description, as well as a link to MICA's continuing studies registration page. [note: they apparently are calling it sustainable graphic design … but that won't be exactly what I've envisioned the class being about]

Sustainable Graphic Design (GD214)
3 credits — $1080
Meets 5/21/2010 – 6/25/2010 on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday from 12:00 PM to 4:45 PM.

Sustainability is an all-encompassing topic with pragmatic, conceptual, and aesthetic implications to both society and the environment. This course is intended to be an introduction to the various facets of sustainability and how sustainable principles can be applied to design. We will explore current trends, theories and ideologies (ranging from the realistic to the fantastic) along with practical design needs (the fundamentals for specifying more sustainable papers, inks and printing). In covering the basics of sustainability, we will not forget our critical, artistic eye—sustainable design must still be good design.
note: Degree seeking students may take this course in place of Graphic Design I with chair's permission.

learn more &/or register here:

MFA Thesis Site

My thesis work is now documented and up online at this address:

Everything will eventually live on this site, but has simply not yet been uploaded. Bear with me, finishing Grad School and starting life again is hard work.

A Kit of Parts: icons for a sustainable world

This is an ongoing project that arose out of a class discussion on semiotics and relational design. The goal is to create a wide array of iconographic pieces that help to represent and visualize “what sustainability looks like.” As new ideas pop up and time allows the collection will continue to grow.


The Science channel has a new(ish) show called Ecopolis. The premise is that a renowned scientist examines new technologies that can help us live a more environmentally friendly future. It is fascinating and wonderful to get to see and learn about all of these new technologies (20 total over the six episodes of the show).

Exercise #4 :: Pose A Question

What does sustainable graphic design look like?
This question is the foundation underlying my thesis. My end goal is a philosophical framework capable of creating and inspiring designs that directly answer this question. In the mean time, here are some conclusions I have come to along the way all as possible answers (existing and theoretical) to this question.

1. It looks “eco-friendly”

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