A Gorgeous Exploration Of The New Visual Language Of Sustainability

Cause and Effect examines how one of the most important breakthroughs for the environmental movement might just be its packaging.

For all its good intentions, the environmental movement has historically been plagued by aesthetic ineptitude. Those who’ve worked tirelessly to conserve resources, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and fight on behalf of environments that can’t fight for themselves have often seen their causes suffer for the simple reason that their marketing was historically less potent than, well, real marketing. But in the last decade or so, a growing number of brands, designers, and firms have used bold, visual campaigns to communicate the imperative of ecological stewardship, coinciding with environmentalism’s transformation from a collection of fringe movements into an integrated part of the consumer economy.

Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability (Gestalten, 2012) showcases the campaigns, posters, digital media, and guerrilla marketing that have the power to change not only how we think about the environment, but also what we do about it. The thesis is simple: The more elegant the delivery, the more receptive we are to the message.

Already available overseas and soon to be released in the United States, Cause and Effect contains eye-catching images from ads as sophisticated as those instructing us which cars to buy—from Levi’s U.K. and American campaign on the post-consumer environmental impact of denim to Forchets’ artful Puliamo Il Mondo campaign (in Italy), which reminds us we can’t keep sweeping waste and refuse under our collective rug.

You can pre-order it here, or find it on Amazon here.

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  • Eni

    This is right on. We all know that the presidency is being
    bought by billions in PAC money. Our choices have been reduced to the thinking
    that we ONLY have two choices. How did that happen, very smart marketing and ad
    campaigns backed by lots of money. We had some smart marketing in the past, for
    example the Earth Day 1971 TV ad with the Native American chief crying. That
    was incredibly powerful. Since those days, environmentalists have been viewed
    more and more as disconnected rabid hippy freaks (not my words) because of poor
    marketing. The same reason unions, teachers, the poor, the middle class, higher
    education (I can go on) are suffering: a war is being waged on them backed by
    huge monies who have 50 years of incredible marketing experience SELLING the public
    what they want them to buy. People must realize 1) they are being sold to, 2)
    what we are consuming from those marketing and selling is hurting, not helping,
    badly 3) there are effective ways of dealing with these bullies who are
    hijacking our country 4) the way to start is by using their own medicine
    against them, i.e. what this article suggests. THANK YOU, well written article.