Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Future of EcoLabeling

A friend forwarded me a great article from on EcoLabeling that talks about understanding environmental product claims.  CLICK HERE to read.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reduce - Begin with the End

Stephen R. Covey coined the term "Begin with the end in mind" in his famous in this book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Although his focus is on personal characteristics that lead to an individuals effectiveness, the same principal can be said for building sustainable signage and wayfinding.  

Beginning with the end in mind is an important part of reducing waste and land fill contribution and is unique to each project that gets built and designed.  A typical commercial interior may change design and signage every 3 years.  The occupants of an office building may move offices several time over a 2-3 year span.  How do these things impact sustainability and overall design in the begining?

If a sign is intended to hold up over 10-20 years is it OK to use less environmentally friendly materials to reduce the waste associated with making the sign multiple times?  Even so, how will the sign be maintained and ultimately disposed of?

Why are so many wall mounted signs taped on the wall with adhesives that will destroy the wall once removed when everyone knows that the life of the sign will be shorter than the wall itself?

Can the sign system being designed be built in a custom way that allows only the portion of the sign that will change to be replaced without removing the entire sign?  If so, does this change the way replaceable components are made so it can easily be recycled or re-used?

We ask many of these questions everyday and give in to our client for multiple reason including budget.  Many times we know that throughout the life cycle of a project, changing things upfront saves a lot of money.  This is the job of sign professional to educate and consult with clients to understand the big picture of these packages.  It all start with the end - how do you get somewhere if you never look to see where you're going, especially when sustainability is concerned.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Quest for Greener Inks

Sign Builder Illustrated has an article called "The Quest for Greener Inks" in the current June issue.  The article talks about UV inks growing in popularity because they cure instantly and are VOC-free.  The article also talks about how UV technology is growing and how manufacturing companies are working on modified inks that allow printing on flexible substrates.
CLICK HERE to view the article.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Three R's in Green

I wrote an article for this months issue of segdDESIG magazine that focused on the 3 R's in Green - Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle.  These three topics really cover the gammit related to environmental consciousness and touch on everything from landfill contribution to value engineering to modularity.

Many of the examples sited in the article have been discussed on this blog in the past.  Breaking things up in these three topics - Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle proves to be an easy and fun way to discuss environmental consciousness related to recycling and material waste.

Reduce - design and build for better material yield.  Begin with the end in mind and allow for more possibilities at the end of a products life. 

Re-Use - design with life cycle in mind - if a system needs to be in place for X amount of years and the reality is that components will change, build so the core can continually be Re-Used.  Can a product be disassembled allowing components to be re-used for other projects?

Recycle - sounds like the easy one but it's not.  Very little of what we build gets recycled because of the nature of the products we make, how they're made and how they're installed.

Maybe Recycle is the third R because if the other two R's are done, recycling what's left won't be so hard.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Are We Sharing Yet?

As I was putting together yesterdays post, I couldn't help but wonder how many other products or news or projects are out  there that nobody knows about.

There are now many well know and even famous LEED certified building across the country all of which have signage and egd elements. Who knows about these projects and how the signage and wayfinding was done?

The internet has created instant access to information and social media has created an outlet to connect and share things with each other. Utilizing these outlets is the best way to further the environmental movement in our industry and it starts with sharing. 

Progress has been made and the latest issue of segdDESIGN is proof that there have been many project built and strategies implemented to date. Our job now is to continue pushing the envelope and share with each other our successes, failures and new products or strategies we come across. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

NovAcryl GR Press Release

One of my goals for 2010 was to develop and introduce a new line of photopolymer substrates that meets the growing need for greener solutions in signage.  This means that quality and aesthetics not be compromised, and most importantly, no increase in cost.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a crazy goal but one of necessity for survival in today's world - creating new products and services that meet our clients goals while matching the worldview of the evolving market we serve.

Nova Polymers Introduces
a New Green Alternative Solution for ADA Signage

NovAcryl® GR™ Photopolymer is the latest addition to Nova's diverse line of photopolymer substrates for ADA Compliant Room Identification Signage

Fairfield, NJ -- NovAcryl® GR™ is a new line of photopolymer sign material for high-resolution raised graphics and ADA-compliant room identification signage. NovAcryl® GR™, offered exclusively by Nova Polymers, allows sign designers and fabricators the ability to create a green sign solution without design limitations or increased costs.

NovAcryl® GR™ is a result of Nova Polymers partnering with 3form®, a leader in the manufacturing of eco-friendly substrates, to offer an environmentally conscious and affordable product that can be used for signage projects that require a green solution or will be used inLEED Certified facilities.

NovAcryl® GR™ is environmentally and user friendly. This unique sign material is processed in plain tap water and bonds to 3form® Clear Ecoresin panels, which are non-toxic, Greenguard Certified and contain a minimum of 40% recycled content.

"The introduction of NovAcryl® GR™ will fill a void in architectural and wayfinding signage by allowing the industry to use standard photopolymer signage the same way they have been for years with the added benefit of environment consciousness. NovAcryl® GR™ will process and look exactly like standard photopolymer signage; the only difference will be the fact the base substrate is clear Ecoresin instead of virgin PETG", says Dave Miller, Business Director for Nova Polymers.

About Nova Polymers, Inc.
Nova Polymers is the largest North American manufacturer and distributor of photopolymer sign products. Nova Polymer is also a leader in educating the fabrication and design community about ADA regulations and environmental issues related to signage. For more information on NovAcryl® GR™ and other contemporary solutions for high-resolution raised graphics and ADA-compliant signage, visit or call toll-free 888.484.6682.


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