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A Culture of Green

yurich-creative

Yurich Creative

CLEVELAND OH

Talking clients out of doing work is an unusual practice for most design firms, but principles Beth and Dennis Yurich have been known to do just that. The partners like to put their clients through a “green audit” to identify what may or may not be needed. Sometimes they believe a client just needs to regroup what is already in place. “This is the best form of reuse,” says Beth.

The Yurichs have embraced sustainable practices since the 90s, as storeowners of Plan•it Safe, as designers at YN Design (which later became Yurich Creative) and with Beth as a founding board member for the Earth Day Coalition. In 2008, Beth was awarded Champion of Sustainability by E4S (Entrepreneur’s for Sustainability). A few years back Yurich Creative downsized space, reducing its utility usage by 40%.

To save paper and printing, Yurich Creative has established a print day where desktop printing happens once a week; amazingly, by that day only half needs to be printed. To save energy and time, all meetings are held on one day each week. “We layer our transportation options,” says Beth. “We have a Prius, a scooter, public transportation and bicycles for getting ourselves to meetings and errands. This way we can choose the least impactful option.”

The principles are always on the lookout to save clients’ energy, materials and money. “We really are a partner in our clients’ processes,” says Beth, “always looking to streamline and save resources.”

“Besides design projects, we help clients integrate sustainable practices with staff education, office redesign and material selection. Focusing on green has expanded our business, in that we are asked to assist with projects other than graphic design.”

Arhaus, an environmentally conscious furniture store, needed a brochure to sell the business-to-business community on their overall store concept. This piece needed to tell the Arhaus story and be as environmentally friendly as possible, to prove they walk the talk. It also had to look as creative and contemporary as their furniture. Brevity was important to accommodate a busy target audience. To this end, Yurich Creative decided to make the piece more slim to showcase both its environmental and contemporary approach. The designers also integrated some of the natural materials used in Arhaus’ furniture, echoing a copper and reclaimed-wood tabletop in the collection by using metal and twigs to close the brochure. Among the eco-friendly features of the project: Smaller size means less paper used; paper is 100% postconsumer waste and U.S. manufactured; less paper used saves energy in shipping; more white space in the design means less ink used; piece was printed at an FSC certified printer; ink has a total bio-based, renewable raw material of 45% and 29% of it is vegetable-based; printers were local and the paper was manufactured nearby in New York State; and envelopes were logo-embossed and required no printing.

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