There is a huge push for awareness with environmental issues thesedays, and it's important as a designer to be aware of how we can contribute sustainably to these concerns without compromising quality within our profession. Commercial printing processes omit enormous amounts of pollution, waste and carcinogens and although it would be easier to simply say DON'T PRINT, in our industry that simply isn't an option unless you'd prefer to join the unemployment cue.
"So what choice do we have to keep in tune with these ever increasing environmental concerns"?
The answer is "Soy inks"! Inks that produce exceptional quality in many print jobs from newspapers, magazines, commercial printing and packaging to name a few. Soy inks were first introduced to the market a few decades ago and are now widely available and comparably priced. The soy ink contains non-toxic soybean oil that is blended with pigments, resins and waxes. The clarity of Soy bean oil allows for the pigments to reach their full potential, that results in a rich, deep bright vibrant colour. Soy based ink is beneficial when printing full colour stationery, the heating point is much higher than petroleum based ink and there is less likely the chance for the colours on your stationery to run, fade or be transferred to the machine parts and in some cases even ruin the laser printer by coming off the rollers and being transferred to the machine parts.
At some point in our lives we have all endured that annoying ink rub off with newspapers, now soy inks have been found to reduced the rub off of inks. Printing operators also tend to make few adjustments within production of print jobs, as the lithographic maintains it's stability therefore having less rejects of inferior quality copies at the end of a print run. Now most importantly soy ink is cost effective, soy based inks provide a more intense colour in which printers tend not to use as much ink in production. News paper companies have also noticed benefits of being able to recycle their industrial waste by mixing black ink with unused colour inks reducing the waste.
At the end of the day, consumer demand is a powerful influencer and as a graphic designer you have the power to make a difference to choose a renewable source such as soy inks, for your printing jobs without compromising quality or your reputation.