Innovative design is part of taking action, too. Check out inspirational works by five designers who put the Earth’s wellbeing at the heart of their creations.

With climate change and man’s impact on the natural world arguably being the most pressing problems of our time, it’s become increasingly important for individuals and corporations to understand how they can take positive action for the environment.

Here, we look at five designers who are using their talents to raise awareness about conservation issues. From motivational posters to sustainable packaging, these creatives demonstrate that design can have an impactful influence on how humans engage with the environment.


1. “Cut a Tree, Kill a Life” by Law Kok Yew and Gigi Lee (Y&R Malaysia)

These award-winning posters, created for the Malaysian Nature Society, highlight the devastating effects of deforestation on rainforest wildlife.

Deforestation destroys the natural habitat, and food resources, of many endangered species, including the Malaysian tapir and Sumatran rhino.

Designers Law Kok Yew and Gigi Lee created these compelling poster concepts, which use simple silhouette illustrations, a striking color palette, and minimal typography to connect the image of a tree being felled, directly with the death of forest-dwelling wildlife. In the process, they raised awareness for the issue and encouraged donations for the MNS.

The poster designs went on to win the Bronze at the Cannes Lions and the Silver at the Clio Awards.

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Poster MNS
5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Poster MNS

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Poster MNS
Cut a Tree, Kill a Life: Poster campaign for the Malaysia Nature Society by Y&R Malaysia.

2. “Save the Arctic” by Mauro Gatti

LA-based creative Mauro Gatti is known for his fun and optimistic approach to illustration. So, when he turned his hand to a conservation-themed poster, his approach was no more serious.

However, while some designers employ shock tactics to highlight the horrors of environmental damage, Gatti’s more cheerful approach is certainly one of the most effective. His “Save the Arctic” poster is an inspiring call-to-arms, cleverly transforming a raised fist into a polar bear. Teamed with mid-century styling and vintage texture, the poster is an enduringly popular design that highlights conservation issues, while also being residential-friendly.

The poster would work equally well in editorial layouts, as it would on a child’s bedroom wall. Isn’t this versatility and broad appeal the sign of a truly good design?

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Poster Save the Arctic
‘Save the Arctic’ poster by Mauro Gatti.

3. Paper Collage Illustrations by Cienpies Design

Natural textures and environmental-inspired colors are a quick, effective way to bring an eco-friendly feel to your designs.

Shutterstock contributor Cienpies Design creates eco-themed collage illustrations, using simple shapes and papery textures. The result is simple, striking, and tactile.

Why not try integrating one of these images into a logo or magazine design, to illustrate an ecological topic?

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Illustration
Paper collage illustration by contributor Cienpies Design.

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Illustration
Paper collage illustration by contributor Cienpies Design.

4. Posters by Medness of ONO Creates

It’s likely you’ll have come across the work of designer Medness — of Singapore-based design agency ONO Creates — on Pinterest and Instagram. His hugely popular posters combine ultra-simple, infographic-inspired design, with wittily-conceived concepts.

Turning his hand to a wide range of social issues, from placebo drugs to anti-war protests, his distinctive style has also been applied to environmental issues.

Raising awareness concerning the perils of over-fishing and climate change, these simple, yet commanding poster designs are distinctive and memorable. You can discover more of Medness’ poster designs on Behance.

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Poster Medness
Poster designs by Medness.

5. Sustainable Packaging Designs by Matthew Blick and Van Heertum Design

Not only are designers using 2D media to communicate environmental topics, packaging designers are also turning their attention to creating more nature-friendly designs.

Combined with a growing pressure on corporations to develop more eco-friendly products, there are now new opportunities for designers to really push the boundaries with sustainable packaging design.

British designer Matthew Blick devised an innovative package for Edward Bulmer: Pots of Paint, which is almost 100% compostable. Made of materials sourced from mushrooms, and printed with eco-friendly soy inks, the result is a package with both organic style and function.

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Packaging
Sustainable paint packaging design by Matthew Blick.

A similar approach was taken by Dutch agency Van Heertum Design (VHD), when tasked with creating a sustainable bottle design for mezcal producers — Cráneo.

A sustainable outlook informs every aspect of the design, from the 100% recycled glass bottle, to the vegetable-based label glue.

5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues — Conservation Issues Packaging Craneo
Packaging design by Van Heertum Design for Craneo Mezcal.

Looking for more conservation inspiration? Everybody can take steps — even small ones — towards reducing their impact on the environment.

Don’t miss our workflow tips for the environmentally conscious designer, and help make the world a better place!


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