The Typography of Greenwashing

Instead of watching House episodes all day like a normal person, I spent one of my vacation days making a video about the media practice of greenwashing.

According to the world’s only remaining viable encyclopedia, greenwashing is the “practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly.”

I’m interested in the graphic design motifs that seem to pop up whenever a product wants to advertise itself as Good for the Environment. I was inspired by my hilarious friend Gus’s Media Show episode on greenwashing, and I started thinking about all the sans-serif fonts and burlap lining the shelves of my local organic grocery store.*

This is my first video, and I was a bit nervous. I used iMovie to do the editing, and I slapped the whole thing together in an afternoon with the help of some coffee and a misplaced sense of social justice.

I’d like to do more of this. If you guys have any suggestions for other ornery Librarian Avenger topics, I’d love to hear them.

* I live in San Francisco. I patronize an organic grocery store. I don’t own a car or a tv. Live the stereotype!
** That’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing in the background, who is the boss of you.

4 Replies to “The Typography of Greenwashing”

  1. Everything seems to be “green” now. I think companies started to realize a lot of people either care about, or are starting to care about, the world around them and they’re taking advantage of those who don’t really think to read the label.

    Sorry I couldn’t watch the video. I’m at work so I’ll have to check it out later.

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  3. Nicely done! This reminded me of the moment when I was reading the label on the bottle of stuff beside the washing machine. “Laundry Liquid!” – tons of stuff about how it was safe and friendly to the environment.. and absolutely no claims anywhere about it helping get your clothes cleaner, stains out, or anything to that effect. Truth in advertising, yes… useless product? Apparently, also yes.

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