[Herald Design Forum 2021] Jeffrey Ludlow takes on the sustainability of signage


Jeffrey Ludlow (Reference Point studio)

Jeffrey Ludlow, Creative Director of the Point of Reference studio in Madrid, delved into issues of sustainability, which are easily overlooked in the design industry.

He came to think critically about signage as a major contributor to environmental problems.

“Signage is ubiquitous and constitutes a large part of our urban life. It tells us about brands and gives us directions and labels our world, ”Ludlow said in an email interview with The Korea Herald. “It’s made from wood, metal and plastic and because it’s so small and atomized in our urban environment, we don’t link it to a contributor to pollution, but it is.”

Although large, ambitious sustainability solutions are being talked about around the world, little is said about how signage systems relate to sustainability, and people need to rethink their approach to building signage and signage. outdoor (OOH), also known as outdoor advertising or outdoor media.

“I think we’ll see a shift towards more online advertising, but remember that doesn’t make it neutral in terms of power consumption. Browsing, emailing, social media and texting have all have a carbon footprint, ”he said. “I think we are moving away from OOH Advertisements, we need to study the impact of new media formats.

“What we are considering is that there be more taxation of advertising in new media formats. Taxation can limit the number of advertisements and advertisers. Currently, it is the Wild West of targeted advertising, ”he added.

Based in Madrid, the POR studio specializes in the alliance of graphic design and architecture. Much of its activity is linked to the built environment in the design of graphics and environmental signage systems.

Signage for Summit at One Vanderbilt in New York (Point of Reference studio)

Signage for Summit at One Vanderbilt in New York (Point of Reference studio)

POR’s recent projects include designing the identity and website of a sustainable lamp company called PET Lamp and a signage system for Summit in New York, a new viewing platform experience, unique in its kind in New York, according to the design studio.

As an omnidisciplinary designer, sustainability has been an important part of his design which has become more relevant today as millennials and millennials have become more concerned with sustainability and ethics.

“With our current climate crisis, this is (sustainability) a situation at all levels. There are several UN reports that we are not doing enough as a country to reduce,” a- he declared.

As for the pandemic which has continued for almost two years, a major change is its diverse customer portfolio impacted by different styles of communication.

“We are used to working internationally, but now we have more international clients because they are also more used to working through Zoom. The zoom has eroded the borders, ”he said.

Raised in a multicultural environment, Ludlow embraced a similarity of professions encompassing architecture and graphic design, yearning for inspiration as a designer.

“Although I was trained as an architect, I knew I was better at communicating through drawing and design than through building construction. So it was an intentional decision to work with companies that had a blurred disciplinary line. … I am an inspiration scavenger; I’m always looking to see what I can learn and inspire myself. It can come from art, from everyday life or from reading. Really anything, I’m an inspiration collector, ”he said.

Ludlow will discuss how small sustainability solutions like signage could have big effects on advertising media consumption at the 2021 Herald Design Forum, which will be held on October 14 in Seoul.

By Park Yuna ([email protected])


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