The 2011 D&AD Annual has been designed to be a case study in sustainable mass publishing.
The book, published by TASCHEN, was the brainchild of D&AD President and AllofUs Founder Sanky, Airside Founder and sustainability expert Nat Hunter and graphic design icon Harry Pearce of Pentagram.
The Annual is the indispensable guide to the celebrated work from the 2011 D&AD Awards. The book is the 49th in the series and considered to be the authoritative archive of commercial creativity, advertising and design. The Annual is hotly anticipated by industry and design fans, and previous designers have included Peter Saville and Neville Brody.
You can download our infographic, charting the journey of the Annual, from the link to the right of this page. Buy the Annual here. Read more on Sanky, Mike Dempsey and Nat Hunter's thoughts on sustainability, and join the debate here.
The story of the 2011 D&AD Annual:
The 2011 Annual is TASCHEN’s most sustainably produced title to date. Its carbon footprint is 82% less than the 2010 edition. Both the design and production of the book aimed to push the boundaries of environmentally conscientious publishing. The D&AD team and TASCHEN questioned every element of the production process to develop a manufacturing model that could be replicated – and bettered – in future years. For D&AD President Sanky, the idea was to encourage other creatives and publishers to reconsider their methods: ‘If we haven’t moved on from this in ten years, we’ve failed.’ However, there was no question that the Annual should be a physical book. ‘I grew up in a house FULL of books. Books change the sound of a room, the smell, the light and most importantly what could happen in the room. Books, we need them.’
Nat Hunter questioned the environmental credentials of producing the book, and looked into the alternative - of a purely digital format: ‘We looked into creating a digital version of the Annual, but when you consider the huge amount of energy consumed in hosting large files on servers for decades to come and the possibility that many people would print them out on inefficient printers, the benefits became less convincing. So we reduced the amount of materials used, made it a stunningly beautiful object so it’s not likely to ever end up in a landfill site, but if it does end up there, it’s fully compostable.’
The team started by looking at the sources of each material needed to manufacture the Annual. Instead of cheap pulp from South America, the book uses 100% recycled material from Austria, sourced locally to Lenzing’s Austrian plant, which has the highest international environmental standard (ISO 14,001). This pulp was manufactured into wood free, 80gsm compostable paper. By making the paper stock as light a possible, the team was able to save almost a kilo in weight from the 2010 Annual, driving down shipping costs and the paper’s carbon footprint. The decision was made to leave the paper uncoated, further reducing the weight. Producing the paper in Austria - where 70% of electricity comes from Hydro power - also had a dramatic impact on overall carbon reduction (see stats below).
The paper was driven by road to Trento in Italy for binding and printing. The distances travelled were vastly reduced compared to the usual method of shipping and air freighting the heavy books by air from China. Additionally, the lighter paper meant a smaller load, fewer vehicles and less fuel consumption.
The inks used for printing were vegetable based, minimising the damage to waterways caused by chemical run off from traditional printing compounds. The pages were then bound in 100% recycled board, covered in FSC sourced paper, and laminated with a cellulose finish.
Harry Pearce’s cover design pays homage to Fletcher Forbes Gill’s iconic D&AD logo, which has remained essentially unchanged since its creation in 1962. The result is a classic package made in a completely modern way.
‘There was always a mystery, a wonderful visual mystery about the D&AD logotype. I thought it would be intriguing to photograph it and unstitch it a little. I hoped to fill the entire book cover, and when I saw Richard Foster’s superbly sensitive lighting unfolding the typography's form, it just became more and more beautiful. Really this is an homage to Fletcher Forbes Gill, and the enduring quality of the D&AD mark.’
Harry’s design put concern for the environment at the heart of the process. In order to strip out as many pages as possible, chapter dividers, traditionally the place where designers create a signature flourish to showcase their work, were eliminated. Instead, there are just three section dividers and the limited edition D&AD member’s version delineates categories with thumbcuts, saving even more weight and emphasising the traditional aesthetic of the title. Harry also developed a layout that was as lean as possible whilst not compromising the core objective of displaying the winning work at its best. The resulting design is immaculate and reductive, making the work the hero of the book.
For more images and insight into the production of the Annual, see Pentagram.
For more info, images and interviews with Sanky, Harry Pearce and Nat Hunter, contact:
D&AD Head of Communications Liam Fay-Fright | 0207 840 1122 | firstname.lastname@example.org