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.