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Ico-D Sustainability Standard

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Sample 2.5 minute public campaign video that explains the Icograda Sustainability Standard in summary (draft 0.9)

Transcript | Icograda sustainability standard promotional video version 0.9

This is a transcript of the video Icograda sustainability standard promotional video version 0.9

(Text on screen: “The future of civilization is now our common design project” – David Berman, FGDC, R.G.D)

Most designers now get that their projects need to be sustainable.

(Text on screen: How much?)

But most of us are not sure how much is enough. What if designers could measure design projects to make sure they’re part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and then label the ones that are so?

(Text on screen: Solution – Problem)

(Text on screen: Icograda IDA s12345678910)

Introducing the Icograda S Number, a symbol that can track projects that conform to the Icograda Sustainability Standard, the only international standard to certify sustainable communication design according to four categories– social, cultural, financial, and environmental sustainability.

(Text on screen: Social, Cultural, Financial, Environmental)

The S Number is one number that follows every project around, including print projects, web projects … or any kind of project.

Here’s how it works. Professional designers who are members of a professional society that itself is a member of Icograda participate in a voluntary self-assessment process. First, a designer or team goes to the Icograda sustainability website, registers their project, and plans how to earn at least 50 points in each of the four categories of sustainability. Designers get points by choosing any number of sustainability criteria from within each category.

Then, once the project is ready to produce, the designer revisits the website and scores again. If the project still has over 50 points in each category, it has earned its S Number, which goes on the final product. The S Number is actually a URL. So now anyone can get online and know who designed the project and how it earned its points, as well as report a problem. The S Number can also be presented as a QR code.

For the first time ever, there’s a chain of custody between the designer and the consumer. Anybody can post a comment on a self-assessment they believe is incorrect.

Designers registered in the system can actually update the information and change its number of points. A project with less than 50 points in each of the four categories of sustainability gets reported back to the system administrator. Each designer pays a nominal fee of $10 a year to be part of the system: This is how we validate who you are.

(Text on screen: $10 per year)

Every two years Icograda’s jury of experts from around the world reconsiders the rated items and how many points each is worth. The outcome? A happier future for all. For more information please visit our website.

(Text on screen: Icograda IDA

Animation: Tom Pokinko

Storyboard: Tom Pokinko, David Berman)


The Standard

The Ico-D Sustainability Standard (formerly Icograda Sustainability Standard), currently under development, will be the international standard to certify sustainable communication design including metrics for the four facets of sustainability: social, cultural, financial and environmental. It will be simple to use, and will also inform, measure and celebrate. The measurement system will be evergreened every 2 years by a global jury of designers that have been nominated by Icograda members. This framework has been approved by the Icograda Executive Board.

This Web page briefly summarizes our progress to date. The full Web site for the Standard, once development is complete will soon be available at www.ico-d.org/s . It will include information about the standard, the registration system, and a thin portal to design sustainability sites worldwide.

The Jury

The jury has selected the inaugural set of rated elements of Icograda’s international Sustainability Standard, and has determined how many points each will get (as well as the renewal of those criteria that will take place every two years). These elements and the point system is currently under testing, and scheduled for beta release later by Fall 2014.

The jury currently consists of:

Ajanta Sen (India)
Alex Quinto (Mexico)
Banu Dökmecibasi (Turkey)
Betty Lam Yan Yan (Hong Kong)
Bonne Zabolotney (Canada)
Donna Campbell (New Zealand)
Edi Berk (Slovenia)
Ezio Manzini (Italy)
Heidrun Mumper-Drumm (USA)
Jiang Hua (China)
Marc Alt (USA)
Peter Perstel (Austria)
Riitta Brusila (Finland)
Richard Henderson (Australia)
Simon Berry (Zambia)
Sophie Thomas (UK)
Stephen Palmer (Indonesia)
Tuuli Sauren (Belgium)
Ursula Tischner (Germany)
Valerie Elliott (Canada)

David Berman (Sustainability Chair)


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the standard measure designers? Or design firms? Or projects?

A. The standard measures design projects. Each project will either meet or not meet the standard, by earning at least 50 points from a list of potential criteria.

Q. What sort of design does the standard cover? Is it just communication design, or also product design, service design, and such?

A. The standard is primarily designed to focus on projects that include communication design (e.g. print, online, signage) however is being crafted to effectively reach into collaborative projects that involve other design disciplines.
Q. Who chooses the criteria that appear in the voluntary system, and how many points each criterion gets?

A. The Icograda Sustainability jury votes on which criteria are included in the standard, and how many points each criteria will earn. The jury reviews the list every two years, potential updating the criteria and/or the point values.


If you have further questions, please direct them to Icograda’s Sustainability Chair.


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Reviewed July 19, 2013

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