Green is the New Black

The weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Colour aficionados, Pantone, have announced its colour of the year for 2013, P17-5641 Emerald, described as “a lively, lush, radiant green … sophisticated and luxurious”.

Pantone also describe it as “the colour of beauty and new life” and for the graphic arts industry green is an especially poignant choice, because green is the new black. The printing and publishing industries have been wrestling with reinvention for the last few years with heavy losses on both sides of the supplier/customer equation. Many survivors are hanging on because they have invested in a sustainable future, with demonstrable environmental awareness and appreciation of the need for sustainability in media. In a future where media choices are seemingly endless and where digital media and print sit alongside one another, print is the environmentally friendly preference so green is definitely the new black.

Survivors make it because they don’t look over their shoulders, yearning for a world long gone. In the graphic arts, they survive because they understand that for a business to be truly sustainable, it has to embrace change and that sustainability should be a core fundamental for the business.

The printing industry is producing far less excess product than it used to, and far less of what it does produce gets wasted, another reason to adopt Pantone’s colour of the year. Sustainability is all about producing goods and services that are useful, valued and cost effective. Print can meet all of these criteria and provide creative communications opportunities that are only possible with physical media. Examples are all around: the book you buy because it is so lovely, the newspaper with a headline that resonates because your child was born on that day, the birthday card and letters from a long lost loved one. And all those images tangled up in drawers and in boxes, just waiting to be poured over. Far more luscious and full of life than ancient computers and disc drives that might not still work in the future. And so much greener too!

– Laurel Brunner

This blog is yours to use if you want, as long as you fully credit the Verdigris supporters who make it possible: Agfa Graphics (, Digital Dots (, drupa (, EFI (, EcoPrint (, Fespa (, Heidelberg (, HP (, Kodak (, Pragati Offset (, Ricoh (, Splash PR (, Unity Publishing ( and Xeikon (

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