Reductive Design
There will be far more learned and academic descriptions of what Reductive Design actually means.

For me, it’s about communicating with the broadest audience using the fewest resources.

And by resources I mean:


It’s about pushing positivity and progress, challenging behaviours and beliefs.

But all the time acknowledging that everything we make creates waste.

The thing I love most about designing icons and pictograms,

Is thinking just as keenly about what to remove as what to include.

Much like a Master Distiller or Perfumer might do,

My job is to deconstruct abstract and often lofty concepts,

Down to their most human and essential forms.

Distilling complexity down to sensory.

To create pictograms that are simultaneously forward thinking and strong,

And yet inevitable, respectful and quiet.

At it’s simplest, Reductive Design is about applying the same levels of

Analysis and rigour to our actions as designers,

As we do to the work we produce.

Here’s some practical things we can do as designers to reduce our impact on the planet

Work less. Be more Lagom.

Reduce the time you spend on social media. Remember, every post pollutes. (Whether you’re pinging, flicking or clicking).

According to Tom Greenwood of Wholegrain Digital, if the internet were a country, it’s CO2 emissions would be greater than that of Germany's.

So, reduce the footprint of your website:

By switching to a wind powered host. Like Green Hosting for example.

Ditch using Javascript (making all those CPU demands).

Stop collecting user data and sifting through analytics.

Get shot of your video content. Especially the stuff that auto-loads.

Reduce the size and frequency of all colour imagery. Or at least adopt a better file format, like WebP.

Reduce the amount of copy and content you produce, actively encouraging consumers to spend less time on your site.

Work from home and switch to an eco friendly energy supplier. According to Which there are actually only three in the UK that are truly green.

Reduce your turnover by donating a percentage to worthy causes. Like 1% For The Planet.

Switch to an environmentally and/or ethically minded bank (thus reducing the chances of your money being used to fund unethical or environmentally regressive investments)

Reduce the time spent staring at screens and instead, look up and out at nature.

As a consequence, you will automatically

Reduce stress and anxiety, sleep better and feel generally more content.

Or download this pictographic summary instead.
A downloadable PDF summarising many of the lowering emissions tips in pictographic format.